After starting the tournament 0-2, Turkey earned their first victory of the tournament Tuesday with a 76-62 win over Japan.
Turkey jumped out to a 24-9 lead after the first quarter, and controlled the game throughout. Japan refused to go down easily though and Turkey was forced to perpetually fend off scoring runs by the persistent Japanese.
A 15-3 run in the fourth quarter put Japan within eight points of the lead, but a jumper from Lara Sanders extended the lead back to double digits for Turkey. From there, Japan would not bring the lead back into single digits.
Sanders was lethal for Turkey, scoring 24 points, collecting six rebounds and rejecting two shots. Isil Alben and Nevriye Yilmaz added 15 and 14 points, respectively.
Japan received an even effort from all of their starters with all but one scoring in double digits. Ramu Tokashiki tallied a team-high 13 points.
The loss was Japan’s first of the tournament, having beaten Belarus and Brazil in their first two games. Turkey had previously lost to France and Australia. They each play again on Thursday, with Japan taking on Australia and Turkey playing Belarus.