SYDNEY, Sept. 24 (Xinhua) -- The United States inflicted the first loss on China 77-63 at the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup here on Saturday.
China were fresh from two overwhelming wins over South Korea and Bosnia and Herzegovina as they faced the three-time defending champions whose campaign was boosted with the return of their WNBA championship trio Kelsey Plum, Chelsea Gray and A'ja Wilson ahead of the game.
The United States made three 3-pointers in a row en route to an 11-0 lead, but Chinese players showed their resistance and tied the game at 13-13 after Wang Siyu's two free throws with three minutes remaining. The United States went ahead 18-13 as the first quarter expired.
After leading 31-25 midway through the second quarter, the United States pulled away with a 13-0 surge from there to establish a 44-25 halftime advantage. The world No. 1 side shot 7 of 12 from the 3-point range in the first half.
China put on another comeback effort back from the locker room, as Han Xu and Wang combined for seven straight points to cap the third quarter 56-47.
The United States kicked off the final period with a 7-0 run. China once again whittled down the gap to single digit after Han's layup with two minutes to play, but the reigning world champions held their nerves afterwards to come through.
China will take on Puerto Rico on Monday, while the United States will face South Korea.