Stewart. Team USA earns gold medal in France

Following a day of rest, Team USA resumed its tear on July 20, handling Turkey 84-55 to clinch the top seed in Group A. A 21-4 start set the tone as every player converted at least one field goal and Stewart got 10 points and five rebounds.

Instead of relaxing, Team USA closed out group play on July 21 with the biggest offensive eruption of the tournament, a 133-71 romp over Japan, and it was here that Stewart had her finest effort. She hit on her first six field goals and didn't let up until she had earned 30 points on 13-of-15 shooting, plus seven rebounds, three assists and three blocks.

Two days later, Team USA hit the quarterfinals against the same Spanish side it faced in exhibition play, this time taking control early and rolling to an 86-57 victory.

Late in the first quarter, the Americans went on a 23-4 run and never got caught in a strong team effort where Stewart had just four points, but many others stepped up as Kaleena Lewis led with 16 points and, again, everyone on the roster contributed at least one basket.

The semifinal last Saturday pitted Team USA against China and was the biggest scare to date. Only up by seven with one quarter to play, the Americans hit another gear and ended up with a 97-74 win to advance to the gold-medal round.

Hot shooting kept China close much of the time, but all that changed in the final period as Team USA held them to just three field goals in 22 attempts. Meanwhile, Stewart resumed her starring role, getting a double-double of 17 points and 11 rebounds, adding five blocks.

So it all came down to Sunday's championship contest, where, completing the circle, Team USA again met France, again in front of a loud and partisan home crowd -- and again conquered the moment, taking the gold medal with a 92-62 victory.

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