The Latest: Spain runs past Canada at Women’s World Cup
SAN CRISTOBAL DE LA LAGUNA, Spain (AP) — The Latest on the Women’s Basketball World Cup quarterfinals (all times local):
Spain scored the first 19 points of the fourth quarter to beat Canada 68-53 on Friday night in the final game of the quarterfinals of the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup.
Trailing 50-47 heading into the final quarter, Spain quickly took the lead on Astou Ndour’s jumper. Queralt Casas’ three-point play a minute later whipped the home crowd into a frenzy. Marta Xargay and Cristina Ouvina followed with consecutive 3-pointers to blow the game open.
By the time Shay Colley made one of two free throws with 1:44 left — the first point of the period for Canada — it was too late.
Canada missed its first 12 shots in the third quarter and scored its only basket with 8.4 seconds remaining.
Next up for Spain is Australia in the semifinals Saturday night. Spain was the only non-No. 1 seed to advance, finishing second in its pool.
Ndour scored 16 points to lead Spain.
Kia Nurse had 15 points for Canada, which will play China in the consolation round.
Belgium is making its first World Cup appearance one to remember. The Belgians beat France 86-65.
Kim Mestdagh scored 23 points and Emma Meesseman added 16 for Belgium, which will play the U.S. in the semifinals on Saturday.
Julie Allemand tied the World Cup assist record with 13 against France. FIBA changed its stat keeping on assists in 2014, awarding an assist to a player if the pass led to free throws and at least one was made. She matched Yuka Harada’s mark set in 1994 for Japan.
Belgium took a 53-31 halftime lead and France rallied to cut the deficit to 11, but could get no closer.
France will play Nigeria in the consolation bracket.
Liz Cambage scored 10 of her 20 points in the first quarter as Australia jumped out to a 17-point lead and beat China 83-42 in the quarterfinals of the Women’s Basketball World Cup.
Australia’s 6-foot-8 center continued to dominate the competition as China had no answer. She also had nine rebounds.
The Australians were up 42-18 at the half and cruised the rest of the way.
Rebecca Allen added 16 points for Australia, which will play either Canada or Spain in the semifinals on Saturday.
Li Yueru scored 12 points to lead China.
Breanna Stewart scored 19 points and the United States rallied to beat pesky Nigeria 71-40 in the quarterfinals of the Women’s Basketball World Cup on Friday.
Nigeria had been the surprise of the tournament by reaching the quarterfinals for the first time in the country’s history. The African nation had been winless in its only previous appearance in 2006. Nigeria, which features many former U.S. college players, wasn’t intimidated by the world’s No. 1 team.
The Nigerians went right at the U.S. and built a 17-9 lead after one quarter. After almost every basket, Nigeria coach Otis Hughley Jr. — who grew up in New York — was pumping his fist and cheering his team on. On the other end, the U.S. couldn’t buy a point. The Americans missed 14 of their 16 shots in the opening period and had eight turnovers while looking completely out of sync.
It was the lowest scoring quarter of the tournament for the U.S.
Coach Dawn Staley tried many different combinations of players to get the offense going. The most effective group was led by Sue Bird, Stewart and Jewell Loyd. The Seattle Storm trio, fresh off winning the WNBA championship, helped the U.S. close the half with a 14-3 run, including scoring the final eight points to go up 27-23 at the break. Stewart’s 3-pointer with 2:04 left in the half gave the U.S. its first lead of the game.
The Americans continued their run to start the second half and opened a double-digit lead early in the third quarter that they wouldn’t relinquish.
It is quarterfinal Friday at the Women’s Basketball World Cup.
The United States and Nigeria will get the day started with the Americans looking to win their 20th consecutive game in the competition. Nigeria, which had gone winless in its only previous World Cup trip in 2006, became the first African country to reach the quarterfinals. The team is made up of many former and current U.S. college players.
If the Americans can score 72 points against Nigeria, the team will become the first-ever women’s squad to reach the 10,000-point milestone in the history of the tournament.
Other quarterfinal games on Friday include: Australia vs. China; France vs. Belgium; and Spain vs. Canada.