Stewart, debuting Thomas help US beat Belgium in WCup opener

SYDNEY (AP) — Breanna Stewart scored 22 points and Alyssa Thomas had 14 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in her debut for the United States, which beat Belgium 87-72 in its World Cup opener. Jewell Loyd also scored 14 points for the short-handed U.S. team, which was still missing Las Vegas Aces players A’ja Wilson, Chelsea Gray and Kelsey Plum. They were on their way to Australia after celebrating the franchise’s first WNBA championship with a parade on Tuesday. The trio is expected to be in Sydney on Friday. Connecticut Sun players Thomas and Brionna Jones arrived in Australia about 30 hours before tipoff.