The Rio Paralympic Games commenced on Thursday, and one team that set the pace for the competition was the U.S. women’s wheelchair basketball team.
Team USA defeated France 93–37 to begin pool play, and made history for the most points scored and largest margin of victory in Paralympic Games history. Three-time U.S. Paraympian Becca Murray and two-time U.S. Paralympian Rose Hollermann combined for 65 points to catapult team USA to the triumph.
USA head coach Stephanie Wheeler spoke to her team about overcoming the big-stage nerves in the first half, during which it led 43–21. “We were able to show our efficiency on offense today. [We were] able to show what kind of great offense we are capable of, and we were able to hold France to the shooting positions we wanted on defense,” Wheeler told the National Wheelchair Basketball Association after the game.
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Team USA held France to just six points in the fourth quarter, while Emily Menard led the French with nine points on the day.
The U.S. will play Algeria on Saturday at 5 p.m. ET. The Americans are on a quest for gold after finishing fourth in the 2012 London Paralympic Games and winning back-to-back gold medals in Beijing and Athens.