Gems extinguish Argentina in Worlds opener

Gems extinguish Argentina in Worlds opener

Australia's Under-19 Women's team are off to a winning start at the 2009 FIBA Under-19 World Championship for Women after accounting for Argentina 75-51 in their opening game of the tournament in Bangkok, Thailand this afternoon.

The Gems will aim to go 2-0 in their second Preliminary Round game against France tomorrow at 4.00pm AEST.

After a dominant 10-point performance in the second quarter Opals squad member Elizabeth Cambage top-scored with 20 points and grabbed a game high eight rebounds for the Gems. Forwards Rachel Jarry and Gretel Tippett added 12 points apiece in support.

Australia was too accurate and too strong in the paint for the South Americans, winning the rebound count 36-19. The Argentines failed to ignite throughout the game, shooting just 25 per cent from the field which was not enough to challenge the Gems.

It was a nervous start from both teams with eight of the first nine shots rimming out and turnovers aplenty but Cambage went to work and scored Australia’s first six points to settle the team. The Gems’ game started to flow as they began to nail their shots and pull in rebounds to lead 18-12 at the first break.

Cambage opened proceedings again in the second term as the 203cm centre stepped outside the arc to drain a three. Argentina relied on their own perimeter shooting to pull back within four points with 2:29 on the clock but the Gems answered the challenge. Cambage added another seven points for the term to lead scorers with 16 points at halftime as the Australians held on to an eight point lead, 36-28.

Argentina came out fighting in the third quarter and were only five points down midway through the term before the Gems lifted and, led by Jarry who poured on 10 points in four minutes, extended the lead to a comfortable margin at the last break, 53-39.

The Gems picked up the tempo with five minutes left to play as they stamped their authority on the game and ran out 24 point winners.

Earlier today France crushed Korea 89-47 and Japan topped Tunisia 85-64.

The Gems will tackle France tomorrow at 4.00pm AEST. The teams met twice this year for a 1-1 record but the Australians were triumphant in the most recent fixture at the Fougeres Tournament in France on June 15.

Follow the Gems World Championship campaign with LIVE STATS.

[Box Score]

Quarter by quarter:

1: AUST 18 ARG 12
H: AUST 36 ARG 28   (18-16)
3: AUST 53 ARG 39   (17-11)
F: AUST 75 ARG 51   (22-12)

AUSTRALIA 75 (Elizabeth Cambage 20, Rachel Jarry 12, Gretel Tippett 12) bt
ARGENTINA 51 (Ornella Santana 11, Andrea Boquete 11, Agostina Buran 9)
At Bangkok Thai-Japan Youth Center, Thailand

Gems World Championship Schedule

Preliminary Rounds
Friday July 23: Australia v France, 4.00pm AEST
Saturday July 24: Australia v Korea, 6.15pm AEST

Classification and Eighth Finals
From Monday July 26

2009 FIBA Under-19 World Championship for Women – Official Website