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|Friday, July 06, 2001, updated at 17:07(GMT+8)|
US Beats Japan, Brazil Downs China in Women Junior BasketballThe United States triumphed over Japan 95-52 for its second straight victory while Brazil outscored China 89-62 at the four-nation Women's Junior Basketball World Championship Thursday in Washingtong.
Alana Beard posted 20 points to pace the US team while Brazil scored its first win behind 15 points from Iziane Marques. The preliminaries will be concluded tomorrow after the United States plays against China, followed by Brazil vs Japan.
"The challenge today was to concentrate enough to keep their movement from becoming a factor," said US head coach Geno Auriemma.
"We played great defensively and our offense was a result of our defense. By halftime I thought we were in complete control of the game and we accomplished exactly what I had set out to do."
After a poor start from both teams, the Americans surged ahead from 8-5 to 22-9 through an offensive spurt of 14-4 to close the first quarter, with Beard stealing three times and scoring eight points in the run.
With a 15-5 scoring spree to close out the half in command 47-21, the Americans continued to cruise throughout the second half and went up by as many as 50 points twice before settling for the final 95-52 victory.
While Ann Strother came off the bench for 15 points and Cappie Pondexter added 11, the US defense held Japan's Yuko Oga, who scored 39 points Wednesday against China, to a team-high six points on 5-of-19 shooting from the field.
In an earlier game, Brazil had four players scoring in double digits, including a double-double of 13 points and 11 rebounds by Erika de Souza and Marques' 15 points, while China was led by 18 points from Song Liwei.
Brazil led the first quarter 18-12 behind nine points from Marques and increased its lead to 14 points 43-29 by halftime, and never trailed throughout the game.
China was never able to recover and was kept at bay for the eventual 89-62 decision as its players were held to 35.4 percent from the floor while Brazil who outbounded China 54-25, shot 50.8 percent from the field.
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