The United States men's basketball team has defeated Panama, 94-72, in their first game of the World Championship qualifying tournament. The U.S. team controlled the tempo Wednesday in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, outmuscling Panama on both ends of the court.

Panama hit just 35 percent from the field compared to 56 percent for the United States. Guard Alex Scales led U.S. scoring with 18 points. Eric Cardenas led Panama with 13 points. Panama closed to within eight points in the second quarter. But the United States led 50-35 by halftime.

The tournament, with 10 teams from the Americas, goes through September 4. The top four teams qualify for the World Championships in Japan next year. On Thursday, the United States plays favorite Brazil.

Some information for this report provided by AP.