U-19 Women: Game 1
Look through the game program and you will see one obvious reason why the Australian Gems were so dominant over the Junior Tall Ferns in the first game of the U-19 FIBA Oceania Championships for Women.
The Australian Gems opened their 2006 FIBA Oceania Championships campaign with an emphatic 84 to 34 win over the Junior Tall Ferns from New Zealand in the opening game of the 2006 U-19 Championship for Women.
The Gems featured in their line-up nine players over 1.8 metres including the 196 cm Marianna TOLO and 196 Cayla Francis. New Zealand on the other hand fielded a team of nine players under 1.8 metres and Petra Erceg at 189 cm the tallest of them.
The Australian tall timber of Tolo and Francis between them counted 39 minutes of court time and this helps to explain the 62 to 34 rebound count which favoured the Australians by the end of the game. New Zealand simply had no answer for the Australian height, which not only denied them second chance rebounding opportunities but also resulted in 5 blocked shots for the Australians and 13 fouls for the Kiwis.
The Australians, as has become their trademark played an up-tempo game with aggressive defensive pressure and it was not without its price. The Kiwis were sent to the free throw line 23 times during the game but could only manage 13 conversion (56%). They could be thankful that the Australians were even worse from the stripe sincking 5 of 13 for a 38% free throw percentage.
The first half score favoured the Australians 18 to 10, but in the second half the Australian scoring machine clicked sinking 24 points and holding the Junior Tall Ferns to just 7. The third period was a lot closer with New Zealand sinking 14 to the Australian's 18 but the final period showed the difference in the two teams as the Australians sank 24 and at the same time held the New Zealanders to just 3.
New Zealand's leading scorer was Georgina Richards with 8 points. For Australia Tolo with 12 was the leading scorer and Francis and Katie Ebzery both contributed 10 from about 17 minutes of court time.
A full game analysis can be accessed by clicking on the fixtures/results button on the left hand menu and selecting detailed results.
The two teams meet for game 2 in the series later today at the Shoalhaven Basketball Stadium.