China spoils Puerto Rico women’s hoops debut with 97–55 win

Jul 26, 2021, 6:46 PM | Updated: Jul 27, 2021, 7:57 am

SAITAMA, Japan (AP) — Li Yueru scored 21 points and grabbed 12 rebounds as China spoiled Puerto Rico’s Olympic debut in women’s basketball Tuesday night with a 97-55 rout.

China, which won silver in the 1992 Barcelona Games and is in its ninth Olympics, had little issue dominating Puerto Rico from the opening tip.

The Chinese never trailed and led 32-17 at the end of the first quarter after hitting 9 of 18 shots. They took their biggest lead at 53-26 after the second even with coach Xu Limin wearing a walking boot on his left foot and needing a wheelchair to leave the court for the locker room at halftime.

China padded the lead for a 71-39 edge after the third quarter on its way to the opening victory.

Li Meng scored 15 points for China. Han Xu added 11 points and a game-high 14 rebounds, while Pan Zhenqi had 11.

Pamela Rosado led Puerto Rico with 14 points. Jennifer O’Neill, who played in college at Kentucky, scored 13, and Isalys Quinones added 10.

China plays Australia on Friday in Group C play with Puerto Rico facing Belgium, which beat Australia by in its own Olympic debut.

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