The Latest: France runs past Korea in World Cup

September 22, 2018 - 9:19 am

TENERIFE, Spain (AP) — The Latest on the FIBA Women's World Cup (all times local):

3:15 p.m.

Marine Johannes scored 19 points and France rallied from an early 10-point deficit to rout Korea 89-58 on Saturday.

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 Korea had missed an uncontested layup at the other end.

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 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.

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1:35 p.m.

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.

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1 p.m.

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.

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10 a.m.

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.

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