USA overcomes slow start in rout of Turkey
London, England (Sports Network) - Angel McCoughtry poured in a game-high 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds to help the United States down Turkey, 89-58, in the women's tournament.
Tina Charles netted 16 points and pulled down seven boards as well, while Lindsay Whalen donated 14 points for the Americans, who have now won their three preliminary round games by a combined 108 points.
"We've had longer and longer stretches where we've been very good," said head coach Geno Auriemma. "That's what you have to hope for at this point, just make sure we get better every game."
Birsel Vardarli and Kuanitra Holingsvorth tallied 11 points apiece to lead the way for Turkey, which had won its first two games of the tournament.
A sluggish start found the Americans clinging to a 19-16 edge after the first frame, but Sue Bird buried a pair of three-pointers during a 14-4 spurt that helped the Americans carry a 41-26 lead into the locker room.
"We were shaky at times in the first quarter," said forward Maya Moore. "It wasn't what we wanted."
Turkey trimmed the margin to five late in the third quarter on a triple from Vardarli to make it a 50-45 contest, but the United States would let Turkey get no closer as it closed the quarter on a 13-2 run to take a commanding 63-47 lead before cruising in the final frame.
"They came out a little more aggressive (in the third quarter) and started making some shots," admitted McCoughtry. "We had to get back in the flow."
Both teams are back in action on Friday as the United States faces off with the Czech Republic, while Turkey takes on China, which is tied with the U.S. with six points atop Group A.
08/01 22:06:18 ET