Elizabeth Cambage lived up to her title of tournament leading scorer with 26 points, and added 10 rebounds, but the Gems were cut down by Canada, 49-50, in the sudden death Quarter Final and are now relegated to playing off for positions 5-8.
The Gems had their chances throughout the game and in the dying seconds they scrambled and dived on a loose ball to get possession but could not execute their final play.
Gems Head Coach Dean Kinsman said it was an admirable effort to come within one point of the final four.
We played well, we rotated well. But we never at any stage got any offensive rhythm going. We still had chances we just didn’t convert,” Kinsman said.
“I guess today was the one where we didn’t have enough energy in the tank, we didn’t flow, we didn’t get it moving the way we would have liked to but overall we’re 6-1, we played well. It’s hugely disappointing but it’s really a matter of how we can finish the tournament now.”
In the low scoring affair the Gems put out their worst shooting effort of the tournament with only 203cm centre Cambage shooting above 33 per cent from the field. Canada finished with just 26 per cent from the field but converted 8-of-10 from the charity stripe and nailed six from the arc at 40 per cent.
The teams went basket for basket in the opening term but the Canadians put on a spurt in the second quarter and the Australians faced a three point deficit at halftime, 29-26.
Eight points down midway through the third quarter, the Australians rallied on the back of Cambage but a late foul on Natalie Awoncha gifted the Canadians two free throws and some added breathing space with a five point lead at the last break 40-35.
With 7:10 left to play the Canadians had extended their lead to seven points, forcing Kinsman to call a timeout.
The wakeup call got the Australians back on track and Rachel Jarry and Bree Farley added a basket each and Cambage kept forcing her way to the basket. The sudden lift brought the Gems back within one point with a minute left to play but the Canadians were desperate and shut down the Australians last offence.
The Gems must win their next game to advance to the playoff for fifth spot and match the Australians result from 2007. The Aussies take the court again tomorrow at 4.00pm AEST and will play the loser of the second Quarter Final between France and the United States.
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Quarter by quarter:
1: CAN 15 AUS 15
H: CAN 29 AUS 26 (14-11)
3: CAN 40 AUS 35 (11-9)
F: CAN 50 AUS 49 (10-14)
AUSTRALIA 49 (Elizabeth Cambage 26, Rachel Jarry 6, Kerryn Harrington 5) defeated by
CANADA 50 (Natalie Achonwa 16, Kayla Alexander 8, Jennifer Vaughan 6, Elyse Jobin 6, Taryn Wicijowski 6)
At Bangkok Thai-Japan Youth Center