Jayco Opals centre Liz Cambage was dominant for the Aussies, top-scoring for the game with 25 points in just 21 minutes on the floor. She shot 11-13 from the field and reeled in five rebounds. Lauren Jackson and Erin Phillips were the next best scorers with seven points each for the game.
For Hungary, Alexandria Quigley finished with 23 points while Katalin Honti added 22 points in an impressive shooting display.
Hungary came into the game full of confidence and aggression following their previous day’s win over the Czech Republic, with the two sides trading baskets in the first term, the Aussies taking a slender 22-21 lead into quarter time.
Hungary started to pull away in the second period, and it was their sharp-shooting from the field that was causing problems for the Jayco Opals, as they connected on more than 50 per cent from both two-, and three-point territory.
Hungary had built a seven-point lead going into the change-rooms at the half-time break, and this extended to 14 points going into the last quarter.
The Aussies continued to fight in the fourth period and made up ground. The Hungarians continued their exceptional shooting form however to hang on to the nine-point win.
“Defensive transition was a problem for us, as too was the number of turnovers that resulted in transition baskets,” said head coach Carrie Graf.
“This is uncharacteristic of this group,” she said.
“Having said that, this game was an opportunity to rotate through the group — this group is still in selection mode, and looking at different rotations is critical. We have to remember that this is only the second match together for the year and we are still learning to play with each other,” she said.
Three senior Jayco Opals players were rested in this match-up, as part of the selection and rotation process, with Kristi Harrower, Suzy Batkovic and Jenni Screen all watching from the sidelines.
Despite the absence of these veterans, the side still rebounded well across the board and the guards were effective and delivering the ball to the bigs, particularly Liz Cambage who was red-hot from the field.
“It’s a process and we’re taking each match at a time and looking to improve every time we get out on the court,” said Graf.
The Jayco Opals next play the Czech Republic tomorrow morning.
Jayco Australian Opals 76 (Cambage 25, Jackson 7, Phillips 7) defeated by Hungary 85 (Quigley 23, Honti 22)