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Wednesday December 12th, 2018 7:03AM

The Latest: US reaches gold medal game again at World Cup

By The Associated Press
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SAN CRISTOBAL DE LA LAGUNA, Spain (AP) — The Latest on the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup semifinals (all times local):

8 p.m.

Diana Taurasi scored 26 points, including hitting five 3-pointers, to help the U.S. beat Belgium 93-77 in the semifinals of the Women's Basketball World Cup.

Breanna Stewart added 20 points while Brittney Griner had 16 for the Americans, who will be trying to win a third straight gold medal at the worlds — something the team has never done.

The U.S., which has won 21 consecutive World Cup games, will play Australia or Spain for the title Sunday.

Belgium, making its first appearance in the Women's World Cup, hung around for the first 25 minutes behind the stellar play of Emma Meesseman and some solid outside shooting. The game was tied at 52 midway through the third quarter before the U.S. closed the period with a 21-5 run.

___

3 p.m.

China will face France in the fifth-place game at the Women's Basketball World Cup.

The Chinese rallied from a 14-point halftime deficit to beat Canada 76-71 in the consolation bracket on Saturday. For China, which is the youngest team in the tournament, a chance to play for fifth is big for the future of the team.

Li Meng scored 18 points and Han Xu had 12 for China.

Canada, which was coming off a disappointing quarterfinal loss to Spain, had another rough fourth quarter. The Canadians gave up the first 19 points to Spain in the quarterfinals after leading by three heading into that final period. Against China, Canada led 62-58 going into the final period.

Kia Nurse scored 18 points to lead Canada.

Canada will play Nigeria in the seventh-place contest. Nigeria lost to France 84-62 in the first game of the day.

The U.S. plays Belgium and Australia faces Spain in the semifinal games later Saturday.

____

2 p.m.

A place in the gold medal game was at stake for the U.S., Belgium, Spain and Australia at the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup on Saturday.

The Americans are trying to reach the final for the third straight time. They'll have to beat a Belgium team that is playing in its first Worlds and has exceeded its own expectations by making the final four.

Spain used a 19-0 run to start the fourth quarter and knock off Canada on Friday night. The host nation will have a boisterous crowd behind them when it faces Australia in the second semifinal.

The winners will play for the gold on Sunday night with the two losing teams competing for the bronze.

___

More AP sports: https://apnews.com/tag/apf-sports and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP Sports, AP Online Basketball, College Sports, AP Sports - Women's College Basketball, AP Sports - WNBA
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