Arella Guirantes of Puerto Rico celebrates victory during the FIBA...

Arella Guirantes of Puerto Rico celebrates victory during the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup Group A match against South Korea at Sydney Superdome, on September 27, 2022, in Sydney, Australia. Credit: Getty Images/Mark Metcalfe

SYDNEY  — Puerto Rico is headed to the quarterfinals of the women's World Cup for the first time.

Mya Hollingshed scored 29 points and Arella Guirantes, a former Bellport High School star, added 18 to lead Puerto Rico to the 92-73 win over South Korea on Tuesday on the final day of pool play.

Puerto Rico (2-3) scored the game's first 18 points, including 10 by Hollingshed, and never looked back, securing the final spot in the quarterfinals that begin Thursday.

“My shot was falling,” Hollingshed said. “I looked up and they hadn't scored yet.”

After the final buzzer sounded, the Puerto Ricans were dancing and celebrating their accomplishment.

In other games Tuesday, the U.S. played Bosnia and Herzegovina; Canada faced Mali; France played Serbia; China took on Belgium and Australia competed against Japan. While all the other quarterfinals spots were already locked in, the positioning of the teams was still to be determined. FIBA will hold a draw for the matchups in the elimination round after the Australia-Japan game.

Just as winning for the first time in the country's history earlier in the tournament did, the players and coaches hope that advancing to the quarters will provide some joy to the island that's been ravaged by Hurricane Fiona.

“It means a lot with everything going on on the island,” Hollingshed said. “With everything they are dealing with we're playing for more than ourselves. I know everyone's excited and encouraging us.”

The team was winless in its three games at the 2018 World Cup, losing by an average of nearly 28 points. The team wasn’t even supposed to be in the tournament, but was given a spot when Russia wasn’t allowed to compete following its invasion of Ukraine.

South Korea had a scary moment when Yebin Yoon went down to the ground injured after missing a layup. After a few minutes of being looked at by team trainers, she was taken to the locker room.

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