USA make ominous start to women’s World Cup as France ruin Jackson’s come-back



Breanna Stewart drilled 22 points as the United States launched their bid Thursday for a fourth straight women’s basketball world title with an 87-72 win over Belgium, as France upset hosts Australia to ruin veteran Lauren Jackson’s return.

The American Olympic champions were 48-39 clear at half-time and never relented, despite missing three players from their 12-strong roster who are still en route to Sydney after the WNBA Finals.

Jewell Loyd and Alyssa Thomas both added 14 points while Julie Vanloo scored 13 to lead Belgium on the opening day of the 10-day tournament in Sydney.The victory was the Americans’ 23rd in a row at the World Cup, an incredible streak that began in 2010.—APP

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