US women's basketball team makes early Tokyo tuneup tour

The United States women's basketball team, chasing a seventh consecutive Olympic gold next year in Tokyo, will make a four-game US college tour next month as part of an expanded training program.

USA Basketball announced Wednesday the women will face Stanford, Oregon State, Texas A&M and Oregon -- all ranked in the nation's top 10 -- in November and make another US campus tour early next year.

The tours are a bridge between the Americans capturing their third straight world title last year in Spain and trying to match the US men's basketball squad's 1936-1968 run for the longest team gold streak in Olympic history.

"I have to thank all of the people who worked behind the scenes to get a waiver for us to be able to play a college tour once again," said US national team coach Dawn Staley, a three-time Olympic champion guard. "All our past USA teams that had a college tour went on to win Olympic gold medals.

"It's prep time. The more time we have, the better we will perform in Tokyo."

The US lineup will include four-time Olympic champion guards Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi plus star forwards Elena Delle Donne and Nneka Ogwumike.

Starting with the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, US women are 63-1 in Olympic play with eight gold medals and a bronze in 1992, when they dropped a semi-final to the Commonwealth of Independent States. Americans have won eight of the past 11 world titles as well, losing only five times in a span that began in 1979.