- Associated Press - Thursday, September 23, 2010

OSTRAVA, CZECH REPUBLIC (AP) - Lauren Jackson and Kristi Harrower each scored 13 points and Australia made its first eight shots en route to a 72-47 victory over Canada on Thursday at the women’s basketball world championship.

While the Aussies couldn’t miss early, Canada couldn’t make a shot. The Canadians missed their first nine tries before Teresa Gabriele hit a driving layup at the end of the first quarter that made it 20-12.

She followed it up with a 3-pointer to start the second quarter and got Canada within five. Jackson hit three free throws to restore the eight-point lead.

Australia, in Group A, led by 11 at the half before Kimberley Smith’s three-point play made it 41-35 midway through the third quarter. That’s as close as Canada would get as the Aussies closed the period with a 11-3 run.

The Aussies extended their lead to 24 midway through the fourth quarter, holding Canada without a point for the first 4 1/2 minutes.

Smith led Canada with 11 points.

Australia will face Belarus on Friday, while Canada will play China.

Group A

Belarus 68, China 57

OSTRAVA, Czech Republic _ Yelena Leuchanka scored 20 points and Belarus held China to just one field goal for 8 1/2 minutes in the fourth quarter to win the opening game of the group.

Leuchanka, who plays for the Atlanta Dream in the WNBA, added 12 rebounds for Belarus. The team held a 52-48 lead after the third quarter when Tatyana Troina hit a 3-pointer at the end of the period.

China cut its deficit to 52-51 on Chen Nan’s 3-pointer early in the fourth quarter, but Belarus turned up its defense, going on a 14-2 run.

Natallia Anufryienka scored six straight points during the spurt as China missed nine of its 10 shots.

Miao Lijie finally ended the drought, hitting a layup with 58 seconds left.

Chen, Liu Dan and Miao each scored 13 points to lead China.

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