VALDIVIA, Chile - A day after surviving a first-game scare, the United States routed Jamaica, 115-47, yesterday, clinching a semifinal spot at the FIBA Americas tournament.
Seimone Augustus had 19 points and Tina Thompson added 18 as the US team scored the first 9 points and never looked back.
The United States (2-0) struggled in its first game against Cuba, winning, 85-79, after trailing most of the game.
There was no such trouble yesterday. Leading, 14-7, Kara Lawson came off the bench to score 5 quick points and give the United States an 11-point advantage at the end of the first quarter. Jamaica would get no closer the rest of the game.
"From the beginning of the game to the end, I thought we really kept our energy and our intensity up," said US coach Anne Donovan. "That's what you want to do in games like these, you really want to be able to come in hard, play hard all the way through, and not lose your focus."
Lawson finished with 11 points, 7 rebounds, and 7 assists. The US finished with 32 assists and forced Jamaica into 32 turnovers.
The US team, which had all 12 players score, led, 48-28, at the half, then outscored Jamaica, 67-19, in the second half.
Simone Edwards led Jamaica (0-2) with 18 points, and Nicole Louden added 14.
The United States will play Canada in the final preliminary game today and try to secure the top seed in Group B.
"They're not going to be a pushover," said Augustus, who was 8 for 8 from the field and scored 15 of her points in the fourth quarter. "We not only needed to take care of this game today, we needed to prepare for the next game, as well."
Cuba beat Canada, 75-52, in the other Group B game. Brazil routed Chile, 104-60, and Argentina beat Mexico, 90-52, in Group A games.