USA advance to World Cup semifinals

USA advance to World Cup semifinals

 

Kelsey Plum scored a game-high 17 points and grabbed two rebounds as the United States defeated Serbia 88-55 to advance to the World Cup semifinals on Thursday in Sydney.

The victory marked the 10th straight World Cup in which the United States has advanced to the last four without a loss. They are aiming for their 11th trophy and fourth in a row.

The United States led 50-33 at halftime and maintained tight control to set up a quarterfinal matchup against either world No. 4 Canada or No. 17 Puerto Rico, who play later.

A’ja Wilson added 15 points and eight rebounds for the United States at the Sydney Superdome, while Yvonne Anderson led Serbia with 14 points.

It was never going to be easy for the Serbs, given the United States’ 28-game unbeaten streak, their longest since 1994-2006 when they won 26 consecutive games.

They averaged 107.2 points in each of their five preliminaries despite missing Wilson, Plum, and Chelsea Gray for the first two, since they arrived late after their Las Vegas Aces club won the WNBA title.

The United States took a slim 25-23 lead in the first quarter, shooting 57 percent compared to Serbia’s 48 percent.

The United States has been ruthless in punishing mistakes, and they have stepped up their dominance over the board to build a 50-33 lead. Alyssa Thomas, a power forward for the Connecticut Sun, led the team in scoring during a 12-0 run.

Serbia, ranked tenth, shot only 30 percent from the floor and was restricted to seven points in the third quarter, lasting more than eight minutes without scoring, before the United States added 22 more points to their lead in the fourth quarter to cruise to victory.

Kahleah Copper was helped off the field in the second quarter with what appeared to be a groin injury, following a collision. This was the sole negative for the United States.

Later on Thursday, China will face France, and Australia, the 2018 runner-up, will face Belgium in the other quarterfinal.

AFP

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