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Tokyo Olympics while you were sleeping: USA women's basketball, women's volleyball and baseball all reach semifinals

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The U.S. women's basketball team kept its impressive Olympic winning streak alive with a dominant 79-55 win over Australia in the quarterfinals.

As the U.S. women seek a seventh consecutive gold medal, their win streak that dates back to the bronze medal game of the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona is now at 53 games.

The U.S. will play Serbia in the semifinals on Friday at 12:40 a.m. ET. Serbia won the bronze medal at the 2016 Olympics.

Breanna Stewart scored 20 of her 23 points in the first half as the U.S. built a 48-27 halftime lead. Brittney Griner added 15 points and A'ja Wilson scored 10 for the U.S., which moved to 4-0 in Tokyo.

Brittney Griner (15) drives to the basket while being defended by Australia's Ezi Magbegor.
Brittney Griner (15) drives to the basket while being defended by Australia's Ezi Magbegor.

Here are some of the other notable moments you missed Wednesday in Tokyo while you were sleeping:

400-meter hurdles: The can't-miss track event of these Olympics

How do you follow up the "best race in Olympic history"?

With another world record-setting performance, of course.

Americans Sydney McLaughlin and Dalilah Muhammad delivered another memorable 400-meter hurdle race, with McLaughlin edging 2016 gold medalist Muhammad to win the gold and break her own world record in the event with a time of 51.46 seconds.

And, just like in the men's 400m hurdles final when silver medalist Rai Benjamin beat the previous world record, Muhammad also bested the prior world record. And bronze medalist Femke Bol of the Netherlands finished just .13 seconds away.

"It’s not one of the hot events that people usually want to watch a whole lot," McLaughlin said of the 400 hurdles. "But we’ve definitely made it something very interesting."

Scott Kazmir, Triston Casas push USA baseball into semis

Pitcher Scott Kazmir threw five scoreless innings and Triston Casas hit a two-run home run to lift the U.S. to a 3-1 win over the Dominican Republic.

The U.S. will face the loser of Wednesday's Japan-South Korea game on Thursday. The winner of that game will play for the gold medal on Saturday.

Kazmir, who appeared in three games for the San Francisco Giants this season and was a key member of the Tampa Bay Rays team that reached the 2008 World Series, struck out five Dominican Republic batters while allowing just two hits.

Casas, a Boston Red Sox prospect who plays for the Class AA Portland Sea Dogs, hit his two-run shot in the bottom of the first inning to give the U.S. an early lead. Tyler Austin, who played four major-league seasons with four different teams and currently plays for the Yokohama DeNA BayStars of Nippon Professional Baseball in Japan, hit a solo home run in the fifth inning.

U.S. women's volleyball team advances to semis

Despite playing without injured starters Jordyn Poulter and Jordan Thompson — who were both in uniform but did not play — the U.S. women's volleyball team defeated the Dominican Republic in straight sets to reach the semifinals.

Andrea Drews led the attack with 21 points in 36 attempts, while Michelle Bartsch-Hackley had 13 and Haleigh Washington scored 10.

The U.S. will play Serbia in the semifinals on Friday.

This is the sixth time in the past eight Olympics that the U.S. women's volleyball team has reached the semis. The team is seeking its first gold medal after winning bronze in the 2016 Games, and silver in 2008 and 2012.

The United States' Andrea Drews (11) spikes the ball past the Dominican Republic's Bethania de la Cruz de Pena.
The United States' Andrea Drews (11) spikes the ball past the Dominican Republic's Bethania de la Cruz de Pena.

U.S. men's water polo team not as fortunate

The U.S. men's water polo team's quest for its first medal since the 2008 Olympics will have to wait another three years.

Spain defeated the U.S. 12-4 in the quarterfinals as the U.S. men were relegated to the fifth-place bracket.

The U.S. and Spain were tied after two quarters — with leading scorer Hannes Daube scoring all three of his goals in the first half — but Spain pulled away in the second half to advance.

Other must-read stories from Wednesday:

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: 2021 Olympics update: US women's hoops cruises into semifinals