Jovana Nogic scored 13 points leading five double-digit players for Serbia in a 69-64 victory over Japan on Friday in the Women’s Basketball World Cup.
Yvonne Anderson and Kristina Topuzovic added 12 points each for Serbia (1-1), who used a 24-9 first quarter to take an early lead over Tokyo’s Olympic silver medalists.
Japan (1-1) struggled to return at 58-52 from Stephanie Mawuli’s free throw early in the fourth quarter before Nogic hit a jumper and Ivana Raca two free throws to restore a double-digit lead at 6:45 from the end. Japan reduced their deficit to 67-62 with 33 seconds left, but Mawuli committed an offensive foul.
Anderson converted two free throws eight seconds after they sealed the win.
In other games on Friday, the United States defeated Puerto Rico 106-42; China beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 98-51 and Belgium beat South Korea 84-61. Canada faced France and Australia played Mali on Friday.
CHINA 98, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA 51
Han Xu scored 18 points and Li Meng added 17 to help China stay undefeated with Bosnia and Herzegovina’s defeat.
After a tight first quarter that saw China (2-0) leading only 26-21, the Asian nation took control using an 11-2 run to start the second. Han scored the last two points of the volley. At half time, China was up by 50-31.
The Chinese team beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 48-20 in the second half.
Connecticut star Sun Jonquel Jones led Bosnia and Herzegovina with 17 points and nine rebounds. This is the first time that he plays in the World Cup with the team. Jones later said he made a long journey from Connecticut after the WNBA Finals to get to Australia. He flew from Connecticut to Atlanta, to Los Angeles, to Fiji, to Sydney.
“I’m tired, it’s been a lot of travel once the championship is over,” she said.
UNITED STATES 106, BELGIUM 42
Shakira Austin scored 19 points, Kahleah Copper added 16 and the United States played a suffocating defense to defeat Puerto Rico.
Alyssa Thomas added 11 points and six steals for the Americans (2-0), which forced Puerto Rico to 21 turnovers.
The United States jumped 27-11 after a quarterback while Thomas had 10 points and five steals in the first 10 minutes. The Americans contested nearly all shots taken by Puerto Rico and forced nine turnovers. The US maintained the pressure in the second, holding Puerto Rico without a point for nearly the first five minutes of the period and leading 54-21 at the half.
Mya Hollingshed led Puerto Rico (1-1) with 10 points.
BELGIUM 84, SOUTH KOREA 61
Hind Ben Abdelkader scored 17 points and Julie Vanloo added 14 to help Belgium in their first tournament victory, beating South Korea.
Julie Allemand added 13 points and eight assists for the Belgian Cats (1-1), who lost to the United States in their opening round.
Belgium led 9-8 at the start of the first quarter before closing the quarter with a 17-4 run. The Belgian Cats stretched the lead to 20 in the middle and never backed down.
Leeseul Kang scored 11 points to lead South Korea (0-2).
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