TENERIFE, Spain (AP) — The Latest on the FIBA Women’s World Cup (all times local):
Belgium turned its first-ever World Cup game into a quick rout, beating Puerto Rico 86-36 on Saturday night.
Puerto Rico, which was also playing in its first World Cup game, missed its first 19 shots and by the time Dayshalee Salaman hit a layup with 1:07 left in the opening quarter it was 16-3 Belgium. The next 32 points were scored by Belgium to turn the game into a blowout early on.
Emma Meesseman, who took the year off from the Washington Mystics to train with Belgium (1-0), led the team with 16 points.
Jennifer O’Neill had 12 for Puerto Rico (0-1), which had just six points at the half.
Marta Xargay scored 15 points to help Spain beat Japan 84-71 on Saturday night.
Spain (1-0) jumped out to an 18-point halftime lead, holding Japan to just 21 points in the opening 20 minutes in front of a spirited crowd cheering on the host team.
Japan (0-1) played much better in the second half, cutting the deficit to nine with about a minute left in the fourth quarter, but could get no closer.
Yuki Miyazawa scored 12 points to lead Japan.
Elena Delle Donne scored 19 points and Nneka Ogwumike added 16 to help the U.S. beat Senegal 87-67 on Saturday night in the Americans’ opener at the Women’s Basketball World Cup.
The teams played six days ago and the Americans cruised to a 51-point victory.
For the first 15 minutes, Senegal was the more aggressive team. The African nation took a 10-2 lead early on much to the delight of fans who were singing and waving the country’s flag. When the U.S. took a 15-12 advantage, Senegal answered with five straight points to retake the lead.
The game was tied at 25 midway through the second quarter before the U.S. started to assert its dominance. The Americans (1-0) closed the half with a 20-6 run keyed by Sue Bird and Diana Taurasi to take a 14-point lead at the break.
Senegal tried to hang around in the third quarter and lost the period by only three points, but it could get no closer than 15 in the final 10 minutes, when the U.S. pulled away.
Kim Gaucher scored 16 points and Canada routed Greece 81-50 on Saturday night in their World Cup opener.
The Canadians, who come into the tournament ranked fifth in the world, jumped all over Greece taking a 51-25 lead at the half. Canada shot 53 percent in the opening 20 minutes to take control of the game.
Nirra Fields added 13 points and Kia Nurse had 12 for Canada (1-0).
Evanthia Maltsi scored 14 points to lead Greece (0-1).
Tilbe Senyurek scored 13 points and Bahar Caglar added 12 to help Turkey beat Argentina 63-37 on Saturday.
Turkey (1-0) led 33-20 at the half and outscored the South American nation 18-4 in the third quarter to put the game away. Argentina didn’t score a point for nearly the first five minutes of the decisive quarter and then didn’t get its other basket until 52 seconds remained. The team was down 51-24 at that point.
Macarena Rosset scored 12 points to lead Argentina (0-1), which was making its first appearance in the World Cup since 2010 when it finished 14th.
Marine Johannes scored 19 points and France rallied from an early 10-point deficit to rout Korea 89-58 on Saturday.
South Korea (0-1) started out hot from the field and led 22-12 with 1:43 left in the first quarter before France (1-0) got going. The French led 34-29 midway through the second quarter before scoring nine of the final 11 points of the period to go up by 12 at the half. Johannes’ 3-pointer capped the run after South Korea had missed an uncontested layup at the other end.
South Korea scored the first basket of the third quarter and only trailed by 10, but then didn’t hit another shot until 5 1/2 minutes later, missing seven straight shots. Ji Su Park’s jumper with 3:28 left in the period only got South Korea within 56-38 and they could get no closer the rest of the game.
Park scored 15 points and Leesul Kang added 14 for Korea.
Liz Cambage had 34 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks to help Australia beat Nigeria 86-68 on Saturday.
Cambage, who led the WNBA in scoring this past season, got off to a fast start with 12 points in the opening quarter as Australia led 24-17. The Aussies (1-0) extended the advantage to 11 at the half and Nigeria (0-1) couldn’t get closer than seven in the second half.
Evelyn Akhator, who was the No. 3 pick by the Dallas Wings in the 2017 draft, scored 21 points to lead Nigeria, which is still looking for its first victory in the World Cup as it went 0-5 in 2006. African countries are now 6-89 all-time in the event.
Ting Shao scored 15 points and China beat Latvia 64-61 in the opener of the FIBA Women’s World Cup on Saturday.
China (1-0) jumped out to an early 11-point lead on Latvia, which struggled from the field missing 15 of its first 19 shots. The newcomers rallied though and took their first lead of the game early in the third quarter, much to the delight of their fans, who came out in force complete with flags and drums.
Latvia led 53-51 early in the fourth before Siyu Wang hit a 3-pointer to give China a lead it wouldn’t relinquish. But Latvia had a chance in the final few seconds. Down 62-61 with 3 seconds left, Kitija Laska, who stars for South Florida, missed an off-balance runner from the top of the key. Liwei Yang got the rebound and made both free throws a second later.
Latvia couldn’t get off a final shot. The victory gave the Chinese team a leg up to most likely finish second in the group with the U.S. and Senegal the other two teams in the pool.
Anete Steinberga led Latvia (0-1) with 15 points.
The FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup gets underway on Saturday with eight games. The U.S. will tip off against Senegal in its quest for a third consecutive championship, something the Americans have never done in their storied history.
While the U.S. has been the dominant force in the sport for the past few decades, Latvia, Belgium and Puerto Rico are making their debuts in the tournament. Belgium and Puerto Rico cap off the first night facing each other while Latvia plays China to tip things off.
Other games on Saturday include: Australia-Nigeria; Korea-France; Turkey-Argentina; Greece-Canada; and Japan Spain.
The Americans are led by five-time participant Sue Bird and her backcourt partner Diana Taurasi. The pair has helped the U.S. win the last two titles, beating host Spain for the 2014 championship.