Sydney – Nera Fields scored 17 points and Shai Cooley added 11 points to help Canada beat France 59-45 on Friday in the Women’s Basketball World Cup.
The victory propelled Canada (2-0) into the driver’s seat as the only unbeaten team in its group.
“It’s great for us,” said Kia Norse, the Canadian ranger. “Great momentum going forward. The first match against Serbia showed what we can do, a great team win. Doing it again with everyone’s contribution is huge.”
In other matches on Friday, the United States beat Puerto Rico 106-42. China beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 98-51. Serbia defeated Japan 69-64, and Belgium topped South Korea 84-61. Australia beat Mali 118-58.
Canada led 20-17 with 3 minutes remaining in the second quarter before going 17-0 in the inning to dominate the match. Cooley got the last six points of the boom.
France trailed by 20 at the start of the fourth quarter, but took advantage of 10-1 to advance within 11, but couldn’t get any closer.
Gabe Williams, who had 23 points in the opening win over Australia, finished 13 to lead France.
69 Serbia, Japan 64
Jovana Nogic scored 13 points to lead Serbia, with five double figures, to victory over Japan.
Yvonne Anderson and Kristina Topozovic each added 12 points for Serbia (1-1), which used 24-9 in the first quarter to take an early lead over the silver medalist at the Tokyo Olympics.
Japan (1-1) struggled to override Stephanie Moli’s 58-52 free throw early in the fourth quarter before Nogic fired two Ivana Racha free throws to regain a two-digit lead ahead of 6:45 on the left. Japan reduced their deficit to 67-62 with 33 seconds left, but Mole made an offensive foul.
Anderson converted two free throws after eight seconds to take the win.
118 Australia, Mali 58
Izzy Magbijor scored 15 points to lead seven double-digit players to Australia’s defeat of Mali.
The African country jumped to a 10-2 lead before coach Sandy Brundillo brought in Lauren Jackson into the squad. Then Opal (1-1) picked up the next 17 points, including five from Jackson, to start the 33-2 run that blew up the match.
Australia slipped one point from its highest output.
The match came on the 16th anniversary of Opal’s only gold medal when she beat Russia in the 2006 final in Brazil.
Djeniba Ndiaye scored 15 goals for Mali, who are still looking to win their first World Cup since 2010.
China 98, Bosnia and Herzegovina 51
Han Shuo scored 18 points and Li Ming added 17 points to help China remain undefeated after defeating Bosnia and Herzegovina.
After a tight first quarter that saw China advance (2-0) only 26-21, the Asian nation dominated using an 11-2 round to start the second. Han scored the last two points of the blast. By the time it rolled in half, China was up 50-31.
The Chinese team beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 48-20 in the second half.
Connecticut Sun star Jonkel Jones led Bosnia and Herzegovina with 17 points and nine rebounds. It’s the first time you’ve played in a World Cup with the team. Jones then said she took the long trip from Connecticut after the WNBA Finals to get to Australia. I traveled from Connecticut to Atlanta to Los Angeles to Fiji to Sydney.
“I got tired, it was a lot of traveling once the tournament was over,” she said.
US 106, Puerto Rico 42
Shakira Austin scored 19 points, Kahleh Cooper added 16, and the United States played a stifling defense to defeat Puerto Rico.
Alyssa Thomas added 11 points and six breaches for the Americans (2-0), sending Puerto Rico to 21 turns.
The US jumped to a 27-11 lead after one quarter as Thomas had 10 points and five steals in the first 10 minutes. The Americans competed in nearly every shot Puerto Rico took and forced nine turns. The United States continued to press in the second, holding Puerto Rico without a point for nearly the first five minutes of the period and leading 54-21 at halftime.
Mia Hollingshead led Puerto Rico (1-1) with 10 points.
Belgium 84, South Korea 61
Hind Bin Abdelkader scored 17 points and Julie Vanlow added 14 points to help Belgium win their first championship by defeating South Korea.
Julie Allemand added 13 points and eight assists to the Belgian Cat (1-1), who lost to the United States in the opening game.
Belgium led 9-8 early in the first quarter before closing the quarter 17-4. Belgian Katz extended the lead to 20 in the half and never looked back.
Leesol Kang scored 11 points to lead South Korea (0-2).
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