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China outplay BiH for second consecutive win at Women's Basketball World Cup

Li Yueru (front R) of China vies with Jonquel Jones of Bosnia and Herzegovina during a Group A match at the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2022 in Sydney, Australia, Sept. 23, 2022. (Photo by Hu Jingchen/Xinhua)

China claimed two consecutive wins at the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup ahead of Saturday's group match against defending champions the United States.

SYDNEY, Sept. 23 (Xinhua) -- China outclassed Bosnia and Herzegovina 98-51 to register their second straight victory at the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup here on Friday.

China continued their momentum in offense en route to another comfortable victory after trouncing South Korea 107-44 in Thursday's opener.

Ten Chinese players had their names on the scoreboard, with five reaching double figures. Han Xu and Li Meng led the way with 18 and 17 points respectively. Li shot 64 percent of field goals and contributed to the game with three rebounds, three assists and one steal as well.

Jonquel Jones scored a team-high 17 points for the BiH, followed by Matea Tavic with 10.

Zhang Ru (front R) of China in action during a Group A match at the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2022 in Sydney, Australia, Sept. 23, 2022. (Photo by Hu Jingchen/Xinhua)

China's head coach Zheng Wei attributed the dominant win to the team's resolute implementation of their match strategy.

"The players were very determined to execute, so we had a lot of steals and reduced the opponent's field goal percentage," Zheng said of her side that managed 11 steals over the BiH team that shot 20 out of 61.

"At the same time our players took advantage of their speed to attack the opponents. [The strategy] was executed firmly, so the game was proceeding at our pace after the first quarter."

"Bosnia and Herzegovina is one of our tough opponents in the group, so we did a lot of research on them, especially on how to defend their key player Jones. Apart from the opening minutes, we contained her very well," she continued.

Wang Siyu (L) of China controls the ball during a Group A match against Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) at the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2022 in Sydney, Australia, Sept. 23, 2022. (Photo by Hu Jingchen/Xinhua)

This was the first meeting between the two teams on the world stage.

With Jones as Bosnia's marquee player, the team opened the game with a 3-pointer. However, China erased a 5-0 deficit after the tip-off to lead the first quarter 26-21 before extending the advantage to 19 points by half-time.

In the second quarter, China took advantage of a strong defense and their opponents' loss around the rim, while Han came on court and fought hard at both ends. The 198cm-tall Jones continued to attack but ran out of steam.

The second half opened with a three-pointer from Li as China continued to have control of the game. Han also scored consecutive points to help her team maintain a comfortable cushion.

Li Yueru of China goes for a basket during a Group A match against Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) at the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2022 in Sydney, Australia, Sept. 23, 2022. (Photo by Hu Jingchen/Xinhua)

"We are capable of scoring both in the paint and through field goals, so we don't have to give the ball to a specific finisher, but instead looking for the most reasonable opportunities," said Li Yueru, who grabbed a team-high nine rebounds.

"For me, my task is more about double teaming key player of the opponent with my teammate and contain her in defense … As for the offensive side, just go with the flow."

China will play what is expected to be their toughest Group A game on Saturday when they face defending champions the United States.