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U.S., Brazil Women Win in Hoops

June 4, 1998

BERLIN (AP) _ Chamique Holdsclaw had 20 points and 13 rebounds Thursday as the United States beat Slovakia 89-62 to gain a spot opposite Brazil in the final of the women’s World Basketball Championships.

Brazil, which beat the United States 110-107 to win the 1994 title, advanced to Saturday’s title game with a 72-70 victory over Lithuania.

Slovakia led 19-18 with 8:59 left in the half when Holdsclaw, the college player of the year but a rookie in international play, sparked a 15-5 run that put the Americans in control.

``Our depth definitely was a factor,″ coach Nell Fortner said. ``Chamique Holdsclaw stepped up big for us. DeLisha Milton stepped up big for us.″

Milton added 11 points, five rebounds and three assists.

``It is very difficult to defense this team,″ Slovakian coach Natalia Hejkova said, ``because they have 12 very good players.″

Natalie Williams had 14 points and nine rebounds in 15 minutes, Dawn Staley had 11 points and Katie Smith 10.

Zuzana Kamekova and Martina Luptakova led Slovakia with 12 points each and Renata Hirakova added 11.

Lithuania gave Brazil a scare, leading 59-58 with 7:41 to play before experience paid off. Alessandra Santos de Oliveira had 24 points, Leila de Souza Sobstral 19 and Janeth Arcain 13 as Brazil pulled away to an eight-point lead. Two 3-pointers in the last 14 seconds by Lithuania served only to reduce the margin.

Jurgita Streimikyte led Lithuania with 21.

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