Basketball: Japan cruises to 89-56 win over Mali at World Cup


Aika Hirashita scored a game-high 17 points off the bench Thursday as Japan tipped off its FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup campaign with a comfortable 89-56 win over Mali. Nanako Todo added 14 points and Stephanie Mawuli had 13 for the Tokyo Olympic silver medalist, which took control of the Group B clash at Sydney Superdome following a tight opening quarter. World No. 37 Mali rebounded strongly and capitalized on second-chance opportunities to trail eighth-ranked Japan 21-18 at the first interval. Coach Toru Onzuka's team found its rhythm in the second quarter and used its trademark fast tr...

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