US women use stellar defense to rout Puerto Rico 106-42

US women use stellar defense to rout Puerto Rico 106-42

SYDNEY (AP) — The United States is quickly identifying itself as stellar defensive squad by using its athleticism to make it difficult for opponents to score.

Shakira Austin scored 19 points, Kahleah Copper added 16 and the US played suffocating defense to rout Puerto Rico 106-42 on Friday in the women’s World Cup.

“We talk every day about being hard to play against, getting deflections, and the team has really bought into that,” US coach Cheryl Reeve said.

The Americans (2-0) forced Puerto Rico into 21 turnovers and contested nearly every shot, making every point tough to come by.

“It’s fun playing on a team that loves to play defense, it really fuels our offense,” said Alyssa Thomas, who had six of the Americans’ 13 steals.

The US jumped out to a 27-11 lead after one quarter as Thomas had 10 points and five steals in the opening 10 minutes. The Americans forced nine turnovers in the period. The US kept the pressure on in the second, holding Puerto Rico without a point for nearly the first five minutes of the period.

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