Coming off a crushing victory over Cuba on Saturday night, the Jayco Opals were at it again, establishing a 16-point quarter time lead that would never be threatened.
Jayco Australian Opals Head Coach Brendan Joyce again used his bench to great effect, with the reserves contributing 43 points as all 12 players would get their names on the score sheet.
Joyce said it was important to have all players tournament-ready for what awaits over the coming week.
“With the game style we play I like to use my bench and again those players maintained the energy and effort established by our starters,” Joyce said.
“It’s important in tournament play situations to keep all your players fresh, but also get playing time into the whole team – I think we’ve managed to do that so far.
“We’re a very unselfish team and I think you could see some of the veterans really happy to see some of the younger players getting that court time and building their experience, which is going to help us in the tournament.”
It was again the play of Penny Taylor and Erin Phillips that propelled the Australians to a 25-point opening quarter, with the 2006 World Championship MVP finishing with 11 points, four rebounds and five assists in 18 minutes.
Phillips was outstanding as the chief playmaker, racking up a game-high seven assists to go with four points and five rebounds.
Taylor was among five players in double-digit scoring – joined by Laura Hodges (14 points and four rebounds), Marianna Tolo (13 points, five rebounds and two blocks), Belinda Snell 13 points and four rebounds) and Natalie Burton (10 points and seven rebounds).
It was an almost mirror image of the opening quarter against Cuba, with the Jayco Opals wasting no time racing to a big lead as Taylor led the way on seven points.
Not willing to let the Koreans back into the contest, the Australians continued to pressure their opposition at both ends of the floor – growing the lead to 25 points in the shadows of half time. A late Korean rally cut the lead to 45-22 at the main break.
A more aggressive Korea came out of the locker room for the second half, cutting the lead below 20 points as the Australians struggled to rediscover their scoring touch.
It was Hodges who would inspire the Jayco Opals to close out the quarter on a 15-5 run, posting 10 points for the quarter to lead Korea 66-37 heading into the final period.
Joyce used the opportunity to give his bench extended court time, with Natalie Burton cashing in on the chance to impress, posting eight points for the quarter.
Next up for the Jayco Australian Opals is their final group stage clash against Belarus TONIGHT at 11:30pm AEST LIVE and IN FULL on ABC2.
Jayco Opals 87-54 Korea
Jayco Australian Opals FIBA World Championship for Women – Group Stage TV Schedule
Jayco Australian Opals 90-57 Cuba
Jayco Australian Opals 87-54 Korea
Jayco Australian Opals v Belarus
Tuesday 30 September @ City Arena, Istanbul 11:30pm
TV: LIVE on ABC2 Nationally 11:25pm (Vic, NSW, Qld, Tas, ACT); 10:55pm (SA, NT); 9:25pm (WA)
Jayco Australian Opals Team – 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women
Rebecca Allen – Melbourne Boomers
Natalie Burton – Melbourne Boomers
Cayla Francis – Townsville Fire
Laura Hodges – Adelaide Lightning
Rachel Jarry – Melbourne Boomers
Tessa Lavey – Bendigo Spirit
Leilani Mitchell – Sydney Uni Flames
Erin Phillips – Phoenix Mercury (WNBA)
Gabrielle Richards – Bendigo Spirit
Belinda Snell – Bendigo Spirit
Penny Taylor – Phoenix Mercury (WNBA)
Marianna Tolo – Bourges (France)
Head Coach: Brendan Joyce
Assistant Coaches: Damian Cotter and Lori Chizik
Technical Assistant Coach: Scott Butler
For all the latest on the Jayco Opals ahead of their journey to Turkey be sure to visit the BA website at www.basketball.net.au.