Yesterday’s Game 2 went into overtime. Today, the Gems weren’t taking any chances.
Australia’s Under 19 women’s basketball team trounced Japan at the AIS Arena in Canberra this afternoon by 65 points, 129-64.
Adelaide’s Cayla Francis led Australia with 23 points and 10 rebounds and was supported by South Australia’s Abbie Bishop who scored 22 points with 12 rebounds.
Point guard Eri Nakahata top scored for Japan with 14 points.
The Japanese are touring Australia to prepare for the 2007 FIBA World Championship for Under 19 women, set to take place in the Slovak Republic in July.
“It was a good day today,” said Gems Head Coach Dean Kinsman.
“We were on from the word go and we maintained that level throughout the whole game.
“Our defence was outstanding and we ended up out-rebounding them by 60 to 20.
“Everyone that stepped on the floor contributed and got on the scoreboard, so that was good.
“We were really pleased that the Japanese came out to visit. We don’t get a lot of international visitors so it was very valuable for us.
“The girls will now have a 7 to 10 day break and that will pretty much be the only time off they have between now and the end of the World Championship.
The Gems dominated the third and final game between the two teams from the outset behind the tough inside play of Bishop, the 2005/06 defencejobs Rookie of the Year.
She posted 9 points, 6 rebounds and 3 assists for the quarter and took Australia to a 29-16 lead after one period.
The Gems upped the tempo in the second quarter, extending the lead to 23 points by half time, 61-38.
Newcastle’s Katie Ebzery posted a sublime 13 points in the first half, but it was the 29-7 rebounding count that most accurately demonstrated Australia’s superiority.
Nakahata’s 14 first half points gave the tourists some hope, but when the Australian onslaught continued unabated after the break all hope was lost.
Francis came alive with 12 points in the third period as the Australians put the foot down to lead by an astounding 48 points with one quarter to play, 98-50.
In a clear message to the Japanese, who the Australians will meet in the Group stage of the World Championship, the Gems hammered home their advantage in the fourth quarter to more than double the number 2 ranked Asian team.
AUSTRALIA 129 – Francis 23, Bishop 22, Ebzery 15
JAPAN 64 – Nakahata 14, Hayashi 11, Fukushi 8