Serbia overtakes Japan as Olympic silver medalist at the World Cup

Written by Doug Feinberg, AP . Basketball Writer

Sydney (AFP) – Jovana Nojic scored 13 points to lead Serbia’s five-double-digit lead in a 69-64 victory over Japan on Friday at the Women’s Basketball World Cup.

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.

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In other matches on Friday, the United States beat Puerto Rico 106-42. China defeated Bosnia and Herzegovina 98-51 and Belgium defeated South Korea 84-61. Canada faced France and Australia played Mali later on Friday.

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. This is the first time you have 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, Belgium 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 Cats (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 points in the first half and never looked back.

And Lee Seol Kang scored 11 points to lead South Korea (0-2).

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