[ 2006-08-24 08:46 ]
Yao Ming scored 26 points, right at
his tournament-best average, and China beat winless Senegal 100-83 on
Wednesday for its first victory at the basketball world
China's Yao Ming celebrates their win against Senegal during
the first round of the world basketball championships in Sapporo,
Japan August 23, 2006. [Reuters]
Former NBA player Wang Zhizhi added 19 points and
Wang Shipeng had 17, including three big 3-pointers in the fourth quarter, for China
(1-3). The Chinese, who close Group D play against Slovenia, kept alive
their hopes of reaching the round of 16 but still needed help.
Jules Aw scored 19 points for Senegal (0-4), which is all but certainly
headed for a winless stay in Japan. Senegal closes its tournament against
the United States on Thursday night.
Houston Rockets center Yao, who came in averaging 26.7 points, had 10
in the first 5:03. But he managed only two more the rest of the first
half, and Senegal led 49-45 at the break.
Senegal pushed the lead to 55-47 early in the third quarter before Yao
scored eight straight points to tie the
game. His two free throws with 4 seconds left gave China a
71-68 advantage heading to the fourth.
The game was tied at 73 before Wang Shipeng hit a
3-pointer and Wang Zhizhi followed with a bucket
. Senegal was still within four midway
through the period, but Wang Shipeng nailed consecutive 3-pointers as
China pushed its lead to 90-80 with under 3 minutes to go and cruised from