U.S. women win record 27th straight match at World Cup

By DOUG FEINBERG, AP Basketball Writer

SYDNEY (AP) — There has been a long legacy of success for the USA women’s basketball team at the World Cup.

The names change over time, but the results don’t seem to.

Kelsey Plum scored 20 points, Chelsea Gray added 16 and the United States beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 121-59 on Tuesday to break the team record for consecutive World Cup wins.

It is the 27th straight World Cup victory for the Americans, who have not lost since the 2006 semi-finals against Russia. The United States had 26 straight wins from 1994 to 2006 prior to this game. The Soviet Union holds the World Cup record with 56 consecutive victories from 1959 to 1986.

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“It’s pretty amazing,” said Breanna Stewart, who has been on the last three World Cup teams. “Obviously I was here for a game, but you understand the legends before that who really started the streak. It shows that no matter who plays on USA Basketball, we always strive for excellence.

“That streak doesn’t mean much at the moment because we’re going into the quarter-finals and our focus is on winning a gold medal, but it’s something to hang your hat on more late.”

What started with Sue Bird, Diana Taurasi and Sylvia Fowles has now been passed down to Stewart and A’ja Wilson. A legacy of excellence that doesn’t look like it will end anytime soon.

“Players change and, you know, there was a lot of worry about who was going to be next,” USA coach Cheryl Reeve said. “It was a concern when Dawn Staley and Lisa Leslie were playing and who was going to be next. Then it was Sue and (Taurasi) and then other great players as well. Now with this group they say, hey, we’re pretty good too.

After going undefeated again in pool, the United States have not lost a match before the semi-finals since 1983.

“We know the responsibility when you put that shirt on. There’s a lot more than just yourself,” Plum said. “Everyone puts pride aside. We have a common goal. We have incredible players in this team. »

The Americans (5-0) won their pool matches by an average of 46.2 points and never trailed in any of them. Now they will wait to see who they shoot in the quarter-finals.

The E. 33-15.

The lead increased to 63-31 at halftime. Bosnia and Herzegovina had a short run to start the third quarter, but the United States scored the last 19 points of the period.

Once again they used a dominant inside performance, beating Bosnia and Herzegovina 84-28 in the paint led by Wilson, Stewart and Brionna Jones.

“It’s a huge part of who we are,” Reeve said. “Ninety-whatever we had yesterday and 84 today, we just know what we’re good at and we have players who really understand their opportunities for that.”

The United States was missing Jewell Loyd, who the team said was resting. Kahleah Copper started in his place and finished with 11 points.

Nikolina Elez scored 19 points to lead the Bosnians (0-5), who were playing in their first World Cup.

In other matches on Tuesday, Puerto Rico beat South Korea 92-73 to advance to the quarter-finals for the first time. China beat Belgium 81-55 for second place in the pool. Canada faced Mali, France faced Serbia and Australia faced Japan. While all other quarter-final spots are locked, the positioning of the teams was yet to be determined. FIBA will hold a draw for the knockout round matches after the Australia-Japan game.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: the tournament is over.

United States: plays the quarter-finals on Thursday.

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

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