SYDNEY, Australia — The rest of the world might be catching up to American basketball.
But the bottom of the world, as New Zealanders sometimes call their little corner of the earth, has not.
The U.S. women took a 30-point halftime lead today in a 93-42 victory, leading by as many as 52 and setting a U.S. Olympic record for fewest points allowed. The previous mark was 47, set three times.
New Zealand's women qualified for the Olympics for the first time only because Australia received an automatic berth as the host country.
Even then, the Tall Ferns, as the team is nicknamed, were awarded the Oceania Zone berth only because American Samoa failed to show up at the qualifying game last year.
Katie Smith led the U.S. with 14 points and Ruthie Bolton-Holifield and Natalie Williams had 13, with six players in double figures.