The Australians lost their final game of the Preliminary Round to Belgium, 67-61 overnight, to advance to the Quarter Finals as the third team in their group with a 3-2 win-loss record.
Australia will fight France for a semi finals berth at 4.30am Saturday July 24 AEST.
France finished second in Group A with three wins and two losses, behind the undefeated United States and ahead of Russia and Japan; Turkey and Canada fail to advance to the next stage.
In Group B Belgium led the pack with four wins and one loss on top of the group ahead of China on points differential, Australia in third was followed by Spain who qualified for the Quarter Finals over Argentina on points differential; winless Mali finished in sixth.
Against 2009 European Championship Silver medallists Belgium, the Australians stuck to their strengths, pounding the ball inside to centres Gretel Tippett and Tayla Roberts while Belgium fired from long range.
Roberts had her best game of the tournament with a game high 23 points and 14 rebounds and Tippett chipped in with a 16-point, 10-rebound double, but it was not enough to secure the win.
The Australians smashed Belgium on the boards, out-rebounding the Europeans 48-27, but the Belgians nailed 12 baskets from 3-point territory to make up the difference and steal the win.
Australian head coach Peter Lonergan said “We knew Belgium are a great team. We have to respect them as vice-European champions. They are well-coached and played together and hard. We can be disappointed but definitely not sad.”
Heleen Adams dropped 11 points in the opening quarter to lead Belgium to a 19-12 lead at the first break.
The Australians fought back in the second quarter, taking the lead midway through the term, and they held on for a one-point lead at the long break, 32-31.
The momentum swung in each direction in the third quarter as first the Australians got away to a seven-point lead, before Belgium’s sharp shooting saw them take an eight point lead, but Australian guard Lauren Nicholson set up two final baskets for the Aussies to get them back within three points, 51-48, with a quarter to play.
Belgium got in some foul trouble in the final term but the Australians could not finish their shots and ultimately fell by six points.
The championship has a rest day today before the Quarter Finals tip off in Toulouse on Friday.
FIBAtv.com will be streaming every match live from the Quarter Finals onwards, from 23 July. Play-by-play will also be available thanks to FIBA Live Stats.
Quarter by quarter:
1: BEL 19 AUS 12
H: AUS 32 BEL 31 (20-12)
3: BEL 51 AUS 48 (20-16)
F: BEL 67 AUS 61 (16-13)
BELGIUM 67 (L Delmulle 16, J Vanloo 14, H Adams 12) def
AUSTRALIA 61 (T Roberts 23, G Tippett 16, S Blicavs 8)
In Toulouse, France
Australian U17 Women World Championship Schedule
Friday July 16: Australia 58 def Spain 57
Saturday July 17: China 92 def Australia 75
Sunday July 18: Australia 77 def Argentina 57
Tuesday July 20: Australia 88 def Mali 39
Wednesday July 21: Belgium 67 def Australia 61
Friday July 23: Quarter Finals
12:30 China v Russia
15:00 USA v Spain
17:30 Belgium v Japan
20:30 Australia v France (4.30am Saturday July 24 AEST)
Saturday July 24: Semi Finals
Sunday July 25: Finals