Gems to play off for bronze medal after loss to Russia

Gems to play off for bronze medal after loss to Russia

The Jayco Australian Gems have suffered their first loss of the FIBA U19 World Championships, falling 57-76 to host nation Russia and will now play off for third place against Spain.

Russia's front court proved too dominant, scoring 38 points in the paint as Maria Vadeeva collected 27 points and 16 rebounds. To their credit, the Gems held their own on the glass with four more total rebounds and five more offensive boards.

With the match tied 10-10 late in the opening quarter, Russia were able to gain some breathing space before the first break to take a five-point lead into quarter-time.

Moving into a zone defence, Australia looked to halt the flow of points close to the rim but the strategy proved futile as the margin was extended to 14 at half-time.

Kristy Wallace (15 points, eight rebounds), Lauren Scherf (six points, five rebounds, five blocks) and Tahlia Tupaea (10 and four with three assists) were gallant in the front-court battle and a mini-run from Madeleine Dennis (seven points) momentarily pulled the Gems back into the contest in the third quarter.

Russia again snuffed out that chance though, going on to win the third and fourth quarters as 20 Australian errors led to a 22-7 disparity in points off turnovers.

As they have done all tournament, the Gems shared the scoring load with eleven players hitting the scoreboard but they managed just 28% shooting from the field.

Box scores from the game can be found here.

Australia will now face Spain at 1am on Monday July 27.

Spain lost three matches in the World Championship, twice to the USA including a 65-80 defeat in the Semi-Final while they also fell to China in the group stage, a team Australia beat by 37 points in the Quarter-Finals.

Watch a replay of the Australia v Russia game at livebasketball.tv where you will also be able to catch the live stream of Australia v Spain.