By DOUG FEINBERG, AP Basketball Writer
SYDNEY (AP) — Jovana Nogic scored 13 points to lead five by double digits for Serbia in a 69-64 win over Japan on Friday at the Women’s Basketball World Cup.
Yvonne Anderson and Kristina Topuzovic each added 12 points for Serbia (1-1), who capitalized on a 24-9 first quarter to take an early lead over Olympic silver medalists Tokyo.
Japan (1-1) battled back to close 58-52 on Stephanie Mawuli’s free throw early in the fourth quarter before Nogic hit a jumper and Ivana Raca two free throws to restore a double-digit lead with 6 :45 to do. Japan cut their deficit to 67-62 with 33 seconds left, but Mawuli committed an attacking foul.
Anderson converted two free throws eight seconds later which sealed the victory.
In other games Friday, the United States beat Puerto Rico 106-42; China beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 98-51 and Belgium beat South Korea 84-61. Canada played France and Australia played Mali later on Friday.
CHINA 98, BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA 51
Han Xu scored 18 points and Li Meng added 17 to help China stay unbeaten in the face of a rout in Bosnia and Herzegovina.
After a close first quarter that saw China (2-0) lead just 26-21, the Asian nation took control using an 11-2 run to start the second. Han scored the final two points of the flurry. At halftime, China led 50-31.
The Chinese team beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 48-20 in the second half.
Connecticut Sun star Jonquel Jones led Bosnia and Herzegovina with 17 points and nine rebounds. This is the first time she has taken part in the World Cup with the team. Jones said afterward that she traveled a long way from Connecticut after the WNBA Finals to Australia. She flew from Connecticut to Atlanta to Los Angeles to Fiji to Sydney.
“I’m tired, it was a lot of traveling once the championship was over,” she said.
USA 106, BELGIUM 42
Shakira Austin scored 19 points, Kahleah Copper added 16 and USA played stifling defense to rout Puerto Rico.
Alyssa Thomas added 11 points and six steals for the Americans (2-0), which forced Puerto Rico to 21 turnovers.
The United States took a 27-11 lead after one quarter as Thomas had 10 points and five steals in the first 10 minutes. The Americans contested nearly all of Puerto Rico’s shots and forced nine turnovers. The USA kept the pressure on in the second, holding Puerto Rico without a point for almost the first five minutes of the period and leading 54-21 at halftime.
Mya Hollingshed led Puerto Rico (1-1) with 10 points.
BELGIUM 84, SOUTH KOREA 61
Hind Ben Abdelkader scored 17 points and Julie Vanloo added 14 to help Belgium claim their first win of the tournament, beating South Korea.
Julie Allemand added 13 points and eight assists for the Belgian Cats (1-1), who lost to the United States in their opener.
Belgium led 9-8 at the start of the first quarter before closing the quarter with a 17-4 series. The Belgian Cats extended the lead to 20 at halftime and never looked back.
Leeseul Kang scored 11 points to lead South Korea (0-2).
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