A rampant United States set a new all-time women’s basketball World Cup scoring record Monday with a 145-69 demolition of South Korea, while Belgium booked their place in the quarter-finals.
Eight of the Americans’ 12-strong roster hit doubles figures, led by Brionna Jones with 24 points, eight rebounds and one assist in Sydney.
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A’ja Wilson drilled 20 points and Breanna Stewart 18 as the three-time defending champions ran riot, with Shakira Austin netting a field goal with just seconds left to ensure the record.
It was previously held by Brazil, who crushed Malaysia 143-50 in a group game at the 1990 tournament.
The US’ previous record was 119, set against Angola in 2014 and China in 2006.
It was also the biggest win in US history, the 76-point win eclipsing the 75-point 2014 win over Angola, and doubled as the side’s 26th straight win.
“I thought we got off to a bit of a slower start than we wanted, but we had a group that came in that really changed things for us,” said USA coach Cheryl Reeve, whose team are gunning for an 11th title overall.
“We got more pressure and I think our size, the number of points we got in the paint was 90 or something. So our size was a problem for them and I thought we shared the ball well.”
The United States, who had already qualified for the quarter-finals, were on another level both offensively and defensively, passing 30 or more points in all four frames against a Korean team that has struggled without marquee star Park Ji-su.
Defeat left the Asian side facing a crunch Group A game on Tuesday against Puerto Rico with a quarter-final slot at stake.
“I try to focus on how we played rather than the result of the game. I wanted our players to show their best ability and confidence on the court,” said Korean coach Jung Sun-min. “Individually I think we played very hard and very well today.”