BOOMERS SWEEP THEIR WAY INTO THE COMMONWEALTH GAMES SEMI-FINALS
Australia’s superior stamina and ball movement wore the Nigerians down over the course of the game as they leaked out for simple transition buckets and tore open Nigeria’s zone defence in the second half while out-scoring them 74-38 after quarter-time.
All 11 available Boomers hit the scoreboard with Chris Goulding sitting out due to a sore knee following a knock he suffered in the New Zealand clash.
Nathan Sobey was his replacement in the starting five and he immediately showed off to the Cairns crowd with two dunks but Ikechukwu Diogu answered with three three-pointers in quick succession for Nigeria.
Brad Newley was brought off the bench to stop him and he picked Diogu’s pocket before Cameron Gliddon (six points) and Mitch Norton knocked down three’s of their own to help Australia to a six-point lead at the first break.
Nigeria had some significant size in the paint but Angus Brandt was not bothered and he started to feast in the second term, scoring six straight points before Daniel Kickert (12 points, four assists) nailed a corner three to make it ten Boomers on the scoreboard and a double-digit lead.
The Nigerians continued to take it up to Australia and Sobey (eight points, five rebounds, five assists) was met at the rim emphatically as he tried another dunk but he quickly atoned with a one-handed tomahawk slam for the highlight of the tournament so far.
— Unlimited Turbo (@unlimited_turbo) April 9, 2018
The Boomers increased their defensive press out of the half-time break and it caused havoc for Nigeria who were also unable to get anything out of their zone defence with Australia enjoying a 9-2 run.
Their transition game then clinched the contest with Brandt (16 points, six rebounds, two assists), Newley (12 points, two assists) and Lucas Walker (11 points) racking up some easy baskets before Damian Martin (four points, one steal) became the final Boomer on the scoreboard.
Find the box score here.
The Boomers now get an extended four-day break as they await the qualifying finals to conclude which will give Goulding ample time to recover for the Semi-Finals.
Australia will take on the winner of Nigeria/Scotland on Saturday morning and then play off for either gold or bronze on Sunday morning.
Australian Boomers and Opals Schedule at the 2018 Commonwealth Games (all times AEST):
April 13: Opals Semi-Finals at 6.30pm or 9.00pm
April 14: Boomers Semi-Finals at 10am or 12.30pm
April 14: Opals Bronze (6.00pm) and Gold Medal (8.30pm) Games
April 15: Boomers Bronze (9.00am) and Gold Medal (12.30pm) Games
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