ATLANTA, Aug. 11, 2012 - Angel McCoughtry of the Atlanta Dream helped Team USA win the gold medal game Saturday at the Olympic Games, as the U.S. pulled away from France in an 86-50 victory to earn the United States' fifth-consecutive gold medal in women's basketball.
McCoughtry once again provided a spark off the bench, scoring seven points and adding three steals, two assists, a rebound and a blocked shot in 11 minutes of action. She sank two of her five field goal attempts including her only three-point attempt, and made both of her free throw attempts.
McCoughtry finished the tournament as Team USA's second-leading scorer, averaging 10.9 points per game, despite playing the ninth-most minutes on the team. She added 4.6 rebounds, 2.5 steals and 2.1 assists. Her 20 steals were six more than any other player on any team had during the Olympics, and her six blocked shots were second-most on the U.S. team. McCoughtry shot 66.7 percent from the field (30-of-45) and 77.4 percent from the free throw line (24-of-31).
It also marked the second time Dream head coach Marynell Meadors, who served as an assistant coach at the Olympic Games, has been part of a coaching staff for a team that won gold, as she was the head coach for the winning U.S. squad at the 2010 FIBA World Championship.
Quotes courtesy of USA Basketball:
Angel McCoughtry On how it feels to win her first gold medal: It feels great. I feel like Im on top of the world there is no greater feeling than this. I am going to wear my gold medal everywhere.
On how difficult it was to be the prohibitive favorite: Coach had a great speech in the beginning of the game: He said, good players expect to win; we play to win, we dont play to lose. When you dont play to lose it makes a big difference. We play to win; the thought of losing never comes into your mind. That makes a big difference. I feel like Im on top of the world right now. Im so excited. Ive got a gold medal, my first one. My name is not Angel McCoughtry. Its Angel McCoughtry, gold medalist. Now Im going to change my number to 8, its not going to be 35 anymore. Because we just won the gold medal, and Im feeling good with No. 8 right now something different.
On if the U.S. executed their game plan against France tonight: Yeah, because we won a gold medal. Id say so.
On if she thought the U.S. had a slow start:
It was a good game. Everyone keeps saying that were blowing teams out, but these arent easy games. Every game is hard, you know, and the scoreboard doesnt show it, but these games are very hard games.
On if and how she improved throughout the tournament: I did, I did. I felt like my game went to another level, I felt like I really improved and I really felt that I helped bring a spark off the bench.
Marynell Meadors On her journey to get to this point: Well, you know, its just an awesome feeling and theres no way to even describe what the feeling you had when you had all those people watching you. The players played so well tonight defensively and they just carried out the game plan, but the excitement of, you know, going ahead and winning that gold medal Ive never been there, except in the Olympic Festival stages and thats a long time ago, but just to work over the last few years with Geno (Auriemma) and with Carol (Callan), the coaching staff was great with Jen Gillom and also with Doug Bruno. It was an awesome togetherness that I think we all shared tonight, and I think it was really good.
On how special it was sharing tonights victory with Angel McCoughtry: I think so, shes a young player that has a lot of potential and, you know, she was on the big stage tonight; I think she handled herself exceptionally well.