U.S. women finish perfect round with win over Russia
SAO PAULO, Brazil -- Tina Thompson scored 19 points and Candace Parker added 17 and the United States beat Russia 90-80 on Thursday to finish the first round of the women's world championships with a perfect record.
The United States (3-0), the two-time defending champions, handed Russia (2-1) its first loss of the tournament in the matchup of the top two teams from Group C.
DeLisha Milton-Jones added 14 points for the United States, which led 55-39 at halftime. Russia got as close as eight points late in the third quarter.
The other Group C game Thursday saw China beat Nigeria 71-59 in a meeting of 0-2 teams.
The top three teams from each four-country group advanced to the second round, which gets under way Saturday.
Also Thursday, Argentina (2-1) beat South Korea (0-3) 83-64 to clinch the top spot in Group A by virtue of a tiebreaker. Spain (2-1) beat Brazil (2-1) 67-66.
Eva Viteckova scored 23 points to lead five players from the Czech Republic in double figures in a 93-72 victory over Taiwan (0-3). The Czech Republic, Cuba and France all finished with 2-1 records, but the Czech Republic finished first in Group D on a tiebreaker. Cuba beat France 78-73.
Australia (3-0) finished atop Group B with Lithuania (2-1) second and Canada (1-2) third.
Lithuania, which lost its first game by forfeit to Australia, beat Senegal 69-57 on Thursday.
Lithuania was held up in French Guyana because of travel problems. The team, which had been training in Martinique, was forced to fly through French Guyana on Sunday because its scheduled flight to Sao Paulo was canceled. But due to a yellow fever outbreak in French Guyana, and the Lithuanian team not being inoculated against the disease, the players were refused entry into Brazil.
After days of diplomatic negotiating, and subsequent vaccinations, Brazilian officials waived the normal 10-day quarantine.
Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press
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FIBA World Championship
When: Sept. 12-23
Schedule and results
• Australia 91, Russia 74
• Voepel: Aussies awesome en route to first gold
• U.S. 99, Brazil 59
• Voepel: After bitter loss, U.S. women regroup with great effort
• France beats Lithuania, claims fifth-place at worlds
• Voepel: U.S. loss leaves burning questions for future
• Russia 75, U.S. 68
• Voepel: USA-Russia rivalry to get new chapter
• Voepel: Bringing trophy home not always easy for USA
• U.S. 90, Lithuania 56
• Voepel: Ever-steady Thompson strengthens USA inside game
• U.S. 63, Czech Republic 50
• Voepel: Taurasi stars for Team USA, WNBA
• U.S. 76, France 41
• U.S. 90, Russia 80
• Voepel: Turnovers worth noting
• U.S. 79, Nigeria 46
• Voepel: Blend of young, old works well
• U.S. 119, China 72