USA women coast in basketball win

Aug. 14, 2004 at 10:48 AM
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ATHENS, Greece, Aug. 14 (UPI) -- The American women gave up the first seven points Saturday, then stormed to a 99-47 win over New Zealand to open the Olympic basketball tourney.

Swin Cash came off the bench to score 19 points and lead five players in double figures as the United States demonstrated why it is a heavy favorite for the gold medal.

In other games early Saturday, Australia downed Nigeria, 85-73; and China pulled away from South Korea, 71-54.

The United States got off to a lackluster start, falling behind 7-0. But the Americans' defensive pressure soon had things going their way.

Team USA led at the half, 63-24.

Sheryl Swoopes had 14 points, but sat out most of the game with a sore ankle. Lisa Leslie had 13, Diana Taurasi 12 and Tina Thompson 11.

The United States will next play the Czech Republic on Monday. The top four teams from each six-team group will reach the quarterfinals.

The American men open their Olympic experience on Sunday against Puerto Rico.

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