Gems beat Canada, improve to 4-and-0

Gems beat Canada, improve to 4-and-0

The Australian Under 19 Women’s basketball team, the Gems, remained undefeated at the FIBA World Championship in the Slovak Republic after a comfortable 70-55 win over Canada tonight. The 15-point win is the first of the Gems three crossover games

The Australian Under 19 Women’s basketball team, the Gems, remained undefeated at the FIBA World Championship in the Slovak Republic after a comfortable 70-55 win over Canada tonight.

The 15-point win is the first of the Gems three crossover games and follows their initial three wins over Brazil, Mali and Sweden.

The Gems next game is against the Czech Republic at 8:15pm tonight, Tuesday July 31 (4:15am AEST, Wednesday, August 1).

”It was a very physical game tonight,” Head Coach Dean Kinsman said. “We had control of the game but it took us three and a bit quarters to really break it open.”

”The way the girls maintained their composure is very pleasing.

“Everyone played really well and did their jobs. These girls are a sensational group.
 
”Now it is time for us to lift to another gear as we move further into the tournament.

”Our confidence is high but we need to lift our intensity, polish on offence and improve our finishing.”

South Australian centre Cayla Francis continued her stellar tournament with a 16-point, 10 rebound double-double with Canberra Capital Abby Bishop adding 9 points and 9 rebounds and Warrnambool’s Nicole Hunt tallying 9 points and 6 rebounds in support.

Kendel Ross tallied a 10-point, 12 rebound double-double to lead Canada.

Both teams traded baskets in a scrappy but tight opening term which included a period of three minutes where both teams failed to score, leaving the game locked at 13-all at quarter time.

Scores were level at 25-all with five minutes left in the second quarter before the Gems offensive power shone through with a 13-3 run, putting them ahead 38-29 at halftime.

The game turned into a titanic struggle in the third term as the Gems attempted to shake the plucky Canadians who nailed a late three pointer to trail the Aussies 50-43 at three quarter time.

Canada reduced the Gems lead to 54-49 with five minutes remaining in the game but once again the young Australians team unity and attacking potency proved decisive, going on a 14-0 run to win the quarter 20-12 and the game 70-55. 

Pleasing for Kinsman was the fact that all but one Gems player scored points in the game. There will no injuries to report.