The game eventually finished as it started, a dour struggle between two sides that would not concede and inch to one another.
In the first half the USA half court defence stifled many of the Gems attempts to score, while the Gems generally had the upper hand at their defensive end. US guard Janae Young and shooting specialist Kristina Fallin were the only players for their team to find the hoop regularly, while Sara Blicavs, Rebecca Cole and Carley Mijovic shared the load for a Gems team that was missing Gretel Tippett and Maddy Garrick.
As has often been the case on this tour, the Gems were able to assert themselves during the third quarter with bigs Carley Mijovic, Tayla Roberts and Nadeen Payne finding space near the basket. Early in the final quarter the Gems had advanced their third quarter lead of two points to a seemingly strong six points.
However, the Americans weren’t done with yet and struck back with consecutive threes from Janae Young and Courtney Young, and when Lateena Wicket scored close to the basket the US had reclaimed the lead.
The Gems worked hard to claim the win in the dying stages of the game but were unable to find a three with the final play leaving the US victors 61-58.
“This was a disappointing result” said Gems Coach Cheryl Chambers. “We expect the girls to learn a lot from this game. Credit goes to the US but we think we had many opportunities to claim the win. Our expectations were high following an excellent game against China last night.”
Gems' top performers: Tayla Roberts 16 points, Nadeen Payne 11 points, Carley Mijovic 9 points, Sara Blicavs 9 points