SAPPHIRES STAY UNBEATEN AHEAD OF U16 ASIA CHAMPS GOLD MEDAL GAME
Into a full court press from the outset, Australia’s pressure was outstanding and China struggled to penetrate through it while six Sapphires recorded a steal in the opening term.
China did not hit a field goal in the first quarter with their only points coming from the free-throw line while Agnes Emma-Nnopu (17 points, six rebounds, four steals) scored seven overall including a buzzer beater to give Australia a 17-4 advantage.
China finally knocked down their first field goal four minutes into the second term but Shyla Heal (15 points, three assists) and Alex Fowler (nine points, five boards, three assists, two steals) ensured they were not going to gain any momentum as the lead pushed out to 24 points at half-time.
Coach Shannon Seebohm continued to rotate through his roster but with every Sapphire keeping up the pressure, the Sapphires tripled their opponents tally for the third quarter, officially putting the game to bed.
Olivia Pollerd and Kelsey Rees (four points, one steal) then received their first court time and while China did manage to win the final term, every Sapphires player once again hit the scoreboard in another stunning team performance.
Perhaps even more impressive, 11 Aussies also collected at least one steal including Last-Tear Poa and Eliza Hollingsworth who had three each.
Watch the replay below and find the box score here.
The Sapphires will now meet Japan in the gold medal game at 1.30am AEDT early Sunday morning in a battle of the two undefeated teams remaining in the competition.
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