The Latest: Spain tops Senegal reaches quarters at World Cup
SANTA CRUZ DE TENERIFE, Spain (AP) — The Latest on the Women’s World Cup quarterfinal qualifier (all times local):
Spain ended Senegal’s incredible run at the Women’s Basketball World Cup with a 63-48 victory in the quarterfinal qualifier on Wednesday night.
In front of a packed arena, the host nation struggled in the early going and the game was tied at 34 at the half. Behind Astou Ndour’s 14 points, Spain was able to slowly pull away in the second half. Anna Cruz added 11 points and five rebounds for Spain, which will face Canada in the quarterfinals.
Oumoul Thiam scored 10 points to lead Senegal, which advanced this far for the first time in the country’s history.
The other quarterfinal games are U.S.-Nigeria, Australia-Canada and Belgium-France.
Sandrine Gruda scored 20 points and Endene Miyem added 18 to help France beat Turkey 78-61 in the quarterfinal qualifier of the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup.
France blew a 10-point halftime lead in the final preliminary-round game against Canada on Tuesday that forced them to play in the qualifier. Gruda scored the first 10 points as France got off to a fast start and jumped out to an 11-point halftime lead and didn’t let Turkey get closer than eight the rest of the way.
“First all the most important thing was to get the win to keep playing” said Gruda, who made nine of her 10 shots. “It’s very important for us to bring us confidence. To win like that we have all the resources to beat the next one.”
France will face Belgium next.
Quanitra Hollingsworth scored 19 points to lead Turkey.
Elo Edeferioka hit two free throws with 3.2 seconds left after getting an offensive rebound to lift Nigeria to a 57-56 win over Greece and become the first African team to reach the quarterfinals of the Women’s Basketball World Cup.
Next up for Nigeria is the United States.
Trailing 56-55, Promise Amukamara missed a floater in the lane. Edeferioka corralled the rebound and was fouled by Maria Fasoula. Edeferioka, who hadn’t scored all game, calmly sank the two free throws.
Greece called its final timeout to advance the basketball, but couldn’t get the ball inbounds and Nigeria took over.
Ezinne Kalu was fouled with just under 2 seconds left and she missed both of her free-throw attempts, but Greece couldn’t get off a last-second heave.
Amukamara scored 13 points to lead Nigeria and Evelyn Akhator added 12. Evanthia Maltsi scored 10 to lead Greece, which advanced further than ever before.
China is the first team through to the quarterfinals of the Women’s World Cup from the qualifying round after an 87-81 victory over Japan.
Shao Ting and Yang Liwel each scored 16 points to lead China to the win. Next up is a meeting with Australia.
China was able to use its size and strong outside shooting to beat Japan. China hit nine 3-pointers, including four by Yang.
Japan trailed by nine with 3:20 left in the fourth quarter before cutting its deficit to two on Nako Motohashi’s layup with 1:27 left. Yueru Li then answered with a basket to make it a two-possession game and Japan couldn’t get any closer.
Motohashi scored 25 points to lead Japan.
Win or go home, that’s what at stake in the quarterfinal qualifier round.
Four games are on the schedule, with Japan against China starting the competition. Nigeria will then play Greece, France faces Turkey and Spain meets Senegal.
The two Asian nations are no strangers, having faced off many times in recent years. Japan has had the better of the rivalry lately by winning the past three Asia Cups. The winner gets Australia in the next round.
Nigeria is the biggest surprise of the tournament after winning its first and second games in its brief World Cup history. The African nation will try to continue its hot streak against Greece and ageless wonder Evina Maltsi. Greece also is trying to make history by advancing to its first quarterfinal round. The winner of the game gets the U.S.
France and Turkey are no strangers to each other. The French will need to find a way to recover from a deflating loss to Canada, which would have given them a bye into the quarterfinals. Turkey has looked off its game this tournament and would love to right itself against France. The winner gets Belgium.
Spain might have been the second-biggest surprise after losing its group on a last-second layup. The host nation now must beat Senegal, which made it out of the preliminary round for the first time. The one positive for the Spaniards is that by losing to Belgium, they avoid potentially meeting the U.S. until the final. The winner gets Canada.