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U.S. Wins Men’s Basketball Gold

September 30, 2000

SYDNEY, Australia (AP) _ This was a gold medal earned the hard way.

On foreign soil, in front of a hostile crowd and facing the home team, the United States beat Australia 76-54 Saturday to win the gold in women’s basketball and cap a perfect Olympics.

The United States did it with cornerstones _ strong inside play, quickness and depth _ and reaffirmed its position as the world’s best in the sport.

U.S. teams won the gold medal at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996 and in the 1998 world championships before this success in Sydney, going 25-0 in those games.

The latest victory came against an inspired Australian team energized by boisterous fans waving flags and signs. But in the end, it was the small band of U.S. fans, led by Alonzo Mourning and several other members of the men’s team, who were cheering as the players celebrated on the floor.

They had overcome their last challenge in a tough Olympic tournament.

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