The Australian Under 21 Women’s basketball team, the Sapphires, recorded a comfortable 19 point win over Spain in game three of the 2007 FIBA World Championship at the SK Vidnoje Hall in Vidnoje, Russia this morning, 75-56.
It was the Sapphires’ second win over Spain in a week, after they recorded a 7-point victory on the way to winning a pre-World Championship tournament in Spain last week.
The Sapphires easily won the rebound count, 47-19, and now sit in second place in Group B after three games.
The Sapphires are competing at the 2007 FIBA World Championships for Under 21 Women in Vidnoje City, Russia from June 29 to July 8.
Bendigo Spirit point guard Kathleen Macleod was unstoppable for the Sapphires, scoring a game high 23 points to go with 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 2 steals while 2006/07 defencjobs WNBL Rookie of the Year Cayla Francis contributed a powerful 14-point, 14 rebound double-double in support.
Blanca Marcos Benito scored 13 points to lead Spain with Itziar Ugalde adding 11 points.
The Sapphires started the game well, opening up a 6-0 lead within two minutes, before eventually settling on a 15-13 quarter time lead.
The determined Spanish side won the second term 15-13 to leave the game deadlocked at 28-all at halftime.
Through solid team work and great organisation from MacLeod, the Sapphires ran all over Spain in the second half, winning the third quarter 20-14 and the fourth quarter 27-14, allowing Head Coach Gary Fox to rotate his entire team throughout the second half.
MacLeod, 168cm, is averaging 6.3 assists per game, the second highest of all players in the tournament.
The Sapphires next game will be against Japan at 9:45pm AEST on Tuesday.
The coach and team members are available for comment upon request.
LIVE statistics for all Sapphires games are available at www.russia2007.fiba.com