U.S. women finish perfect round with win over Russia

Updated: September 15, 2006, 7:48 AM ET
Associated Press

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