Kang helps South Korea wins 1st World Cup game in 12 years

Sep 23, 2022, 5:30 PM | Updated: Sep 24, 2022, 5:33 am
South Korea's Kang Leeseul looks to pass the ball past Bosnia and Herzegovina's Andela Delic during...

South Korea's Kang Leeseul looks to pass the ball past Bosnia and Herzegovina's Andela Delic during their game at the women's Basketball World Cup in Sydney, Australia, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

(AP Photo/Mark Baker)

              Puerto Rico's Jennifer O'Neill passes the ball behind Belgium's Kyara Linskens during their game at the women's Basketball World Cup in Sydney, Australia, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
            
              Belgium's Billie Massey looks to pass the ball past Puerto Rico's Trinity San Antonio during their game at the women's Basketball World Cup in Sydney, Australia, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
            
              United States' A'ja Wilson looks to take a shot as China's Han Xu attempts to block during their game at the women's Basketball World Cup in Sydney, Australia, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
            
              South Korea's Kang Leeseul looks to pass the ball past Bosnia and Herzegovina's Andela Delic during their game at the women's Basketball World Cup in Sydney, Australia, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)
            
              South Korea's Kang Leeseul looks to pass the ball past Bosnia and Herzegovina's Andela Delic during their game at the women's Basketball World Cup in Sydney, Australia, Saturday, Sept. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

SYDNEY (AP) — Leesuel Kang scored 37 points to help South Korea rout Bosnia and Herzegovina 99-66 on Saturday, giving the Asian country its first win in the women’s World Cup in 12 years.

South Korea (1-2), which has played in 16 consecutive World Cups — tied with the U.S. for most ever — hadn’t won a game since 2010. That victory was by one point over Japan.

Kang hit seven 3-pointers to go along with eight rebounds, five assists and three steals.

In other games on Saturday, the U.S. beat China 77-63 and Belgium beat Puerto Rico 68-65.

Hyejin Park added 16 points for South Korea, which made 14 3-pointers. It was only an eight-point game at the half before South Korea outscored Bosnia and Herzegovina 54-29 in the second half to blow open the game.

Jonquel Jones scored 21 points to lead Bosnia and Herzegovina.

UNITED STATES 77, CHINA 63

A’ja Wilson scored 20 points to help the U.S. beat China.

The U.S. now has won 25 consecutive World Cup games since losing in the 2006 semifinals to Russia. The Americans advanced to the quarterfinals and are one away from matching their record 26-game run from 1998-2006.

The teams came into the game unbeaten in the tournament.

The U.S. (3-0) led 56-40 with 2:18 left in the third before China scored the final seven points of the period to get within nine. The Aces trio scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter to make it a 16-point game again.

However, China wouldn’t go away. Trailing 67-51, Li Meng scored four points in a 9-0 burst to get her team to 69-60 with 2 minutes left.

Wilson ended the drought with two free throws and a reverse layup to seal the win.

Li finished with 21 points to lead China (2-1).

BELGIUM 68, PUERTO RICO 65

Kyara Linskens scored 24 points and Emma Meesseman added six points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists to lead Belgium over Puerto Rico.

It was a back-and-forth game with neither team getting more than an eight-point lead.

Arella Guirantes, who finished with 27 points, gave Puerto Rico (1-2) a 62-61 advantage with 2:12 left. Belgium answered by scoring the next four points, including a layup by Linskens with 1:31 left.

Jennifer O’Neill hit two free throws with 58.4 seconds remaining after a steal to get Puerto Rico within 65-64. After Linskens hit one of two free throws to make it a two-point game, Guirantes missed a drive with seven seconds left.

Julie Allemand sealed the game with two free throws to give Belgium (2-1) the win.

___

More AP women’s basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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Kang helps South Korea wins 1st World Cup game in 12 years