Lindsay Whalen drives U.S. at worlds

Updated: September 27, 2010, 10:49 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

OSTRAVA, Czech Republic -- Lindsay Whalen and the rest of the second unit again sparked the United States to victory.

Whalen scored 16 points and Angel McCoughtry added 11 to lead the U.S. to an 87-46 rout of Canada on Monday night in the second round of the women's basketball world championship. The Americans will face Belarus on Tuesday.

"We're able to come in and analyze what's going on and see what's happening on the court," Whalen said. "We can bring energy, intensity, and see what's working and try to play hard."

For the second straight game the U.S. got off to a slow start. Canada jumped to an 11-5 lead, and coach Geno Auriemma turned to his bench. The second unit got four straight turnovers on the way to a 12-0 run. The U.S. forced 32 turnovers for the game.

"I like that second group," Auriemma said. "I thought about changing the starting lineup today as those guys are stuck in the mud. You got some high energy guys like Lindsay, Angel, Maya, as well. Tina gave us a great burst at the beginning of the second quarter."

On one play, McCoughtry stole the ball from Kaela Chapdelaine, made a move to the basket causing the Canadian guard to fall, and then scored an easy hoop.

Janelle Bekkering finally ended the spurt with a 3-pointer to make it 17-14. Bekkering was one of three college players in the game. She is a fifth-year senior at Gonzaga. Her Canadian teammate Natalie Achonwa is a freshman at Notre Dame. Connecticut's Maya Moore is the Americans' lone college player.

Bekkering's basket didn't stem the tide for long. The U.S. held Canada without a basket for the next 7 minutes and went on a 16-3 run to make it 33-17. Charles had five points during the burst, including a three-point play on a drive from the foul line. By the time the half ended, the U.S. led 47-25.

Bekkering and Kim Smith scored eight points to lead Canada (1-3). Despite knowing what they were up against, the Canadians didn't seem in awe of the Americans.

"We knew we're all basketball players in the end of the day," Courtnay Pilypaitis said. "You don't think about who's who and who you're guarding."

While Sylvia Fowles had another quiet game scoring just two points, she did answer any lingering questions about the health of her left knee.

The 6-foot-6 center, who had surgery for torn knee cartilage in late August, tried a dunk about 10 seconds into the third quarter. She stole the ball and went the length of the court. The official, however, called her for traveling before her two-handed slam attempt went off the rim.

"She's healthy and feels good," Auriemma said. "She's not experienced any issues or problems. I think she's got to get into the flow of the game. She hasn't played in a long time. She's such a presence out there. She makes our team incredibly different with her out there. Hopefully she'll stay healthy and little by little we'll get her more involved with what we're doing.

Canada (1-3) couldn't get closer than 20 in the second half. The Canadians will play Greece on Tuesday.

Auriemma wasn't thrilled with his team's play at times in the second half. On one possession the Americans had a 2-on-1 break and McCoughtry threw a pass off the rim. Another play really drew his ire -- Charles driving the middle and trying to shoot over two Canadians. When the shot missed the U.S. coach looked at his former star at UConn and said, "Are you out of your mind?"

Despite sharing a border, Canada and the U.S. don't play each other very often. They last met in the 2007 FIBA Americas qualifier, with the U.S. winning by 48 points. The U.S. had won five of the six meetings, with Canada's lone victory at the worlds in 1975.

"I think we really struggled with the speed of the Americans," Canada coach Allison McNeill said. "Every turnover we paid for it and we had a lot of them. Love to do it more often. We'd love to play them all the time so we can get better."

Canada advanced to the second round by beating China in the opening pool play. After a 12-year absence from the worlds, the Canadians returned four years ago to the tournament and placed 10th in Brazil.

France 58, Belarus 48

Endene Miyem scored 14 points and Celine Dumerc added 13 to help France beat Belarus.

Dumerc had six steals and five assists for France (3-1), which used a 14-0 run late in the third quarter and early in the fourth to take command of the game.

Despite the loss, it has been a great tournament for Belarus so far. The Belarusians burst on to the international basketball scene the last few years. They finished third at the European Championship in 2007. Belarus followed it up by qualifying for their first Olympics in 2008 where they finished sixth.

They've made an impression on the court at the worlds with their play and the Tuta basketball dresses they wear.

The Belarusians hung around against France because of their stellar defense. They trailed 25-20 at the half before opening the third quarter with a 17-7 spurt to take a 37-32 lead on Tatyana Troina's 3-pointer with 1:58 left in the period.

France answered back, scoring the next 14 points to go up 46-37 with 6:32 left in the game.

Yelena Leuchanka finally ended the 6-minute scoring drought for Belarus by hitting two free throws with 5:43 left. Back-to-back 3-pointers by Leuchanka and Troina cut the deficit to 48-45 with 3:52 left, but that's as close as they could get.

Leuchanka, who plays for the Atlanta Dream in the WNBA, finished with 17 points and 14 rebounds to lead Belarus.

Australia 93, Greece 54

Lauren Jackson had 20 points and 12 rebounds and the Aussies scored 20 of the game's first 25 points to rout Greece.

Elizabeth Cambage also had 20 points for Australia (4-0), which will play France on Tuesday. The 6-foot-8 phenom made seven of her nine shots and was a perfect 6 for 6 from the foul line.

Evanthia Maltsi, who was averaging a tournament-leading 23.3 points coming into the game, was held to just nine.

Greece (1-3) cut its deficit to 12 to end the first quarter, but Australia outscored them 29-9 in the second to take a commanding 32-point halftime lead. The Greeks, who face Canada on Tuesday never mounted a challenge in the second half.

Spain 86, Japan 59

Sancho Lyttle scored 29 points and grabbed 11 rebounds to lead Spain to a rout of Japan.

Amaya Valdemoro added 13 points and Cindy Lima had 12, making all five of her shots.

Spain (4-0) jumped all over Japan, starting the game with a 13-3 run. Little had six points during the spurt.

Yuko Oga, who came into the game averaging 22 points, hit a 3-pointer to make it 17-8, but Spain put the game away with a 19-6 spurt over the next 7 minutes. The Spaniards led 50-27 at the half.

Japan could only get within 16 in the second half.

Ai Mitani scored 16 points and Yoshie Sakurada added 13 for Japan (1-3). Oga was held to just seven points.

Spain will play the Czech Republic on Tuesday while Japan takes on Brazil.

Russia 76, Brazil 53

Ilona Korstin and Olga Arteshina each scored 11 points to lead Russia to the easy win over Brazil.

Becky Hammon and Maria Stepanova had 10 points apiece to help Russia (4-0) stay unbeaten. Russia, which will play South Korea on Tuesday, slowly pulled away from Brazil. The Russians led by seven after one and 15 at the half.

Brazil could get no closer in the second half.

Erika de Souza had 11 points and 14 rebounds while Adriana Pinto had 11 for Brazil (1-3), which will play Japan.

Czech Republic 95, South Korea 65

Eva Viteckova scored 27 points to help the Czech Republic rout South Korea.

South Korea took an early 8-3 lead before the Czech Republic (3-1) closed the period on a 25-8 burst. Viteckova scored 11 of her points during the spurt. She made 9 of her 12 shots, including five 3-pointers for the host nation.

Korea (2-2) was able to get within 10 in the second period before the Czechs pulled away for good.

Yeon Ha Beon scored 17 points and Sunmin Jung added 12 to lead Korea.

Information from The Associated Press contributed to this story.

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