U.S. pulls away from Serbia, makes World Championships quarterfinals

Maya Moore

The U.S. women’s basketball team trailed in the third quarter before pulling away to beat Serbia 94-74 in Istanbul on Sunday, clinching a FIBA World Championships quarterfinal berth.

Diana Taurasi paced the U.S. with 20 points. Maya Moore added 17 points, 12 rebounds and six assists. Brittney Griner had 10 points and 10 rebounds.

Serbia led after one quarter, trailed by seven at the half and retook the lead, briefly, 57-56 in the third. The Serbians were boosted by Ana Dabovic, who scored 22 first-half points.

U.S. coach Geno Auriemma went with the same starting lineup as in an 87-56 win over China in the team’s opener Saturday — Griner, in her first global championship, plus four of his former UConn stars — Sue BirdTina Charles, Taurasi and Moore.

The U.S. plays Angola in its final group-stage game Tuesday (2:30 p.m. ET) before its quarterfinal Friday. The gold-medal game is Oct. 5, with the winner clinching a berth in the 2016 Olympic tournament.

The U.S. beat Angola 90-38 at the 2012 Olympics en route to its fifth straight gold medal.

Australia, Belarus, Czech Republic, Spain and Turkey are also 2-0 in the tournament.

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