Group A action got underway once again on Tuesday with Australia topping the group with six points, followed by Japan and France with five points a piece. The host nation meanwhile continues to struggle to get their first victory.
Australia vs. France
Although the Australians came up against a strong French team, they didn’t break a sweat as they ended the night victorious, winning 89-71. Although Australian star center Elizabeth Cambage only logged 15 minutes, the true star of the game was 35-year-old Penny Taylor as she exploded for 31 points, nine assists and five rebounds.
After a fairly level first quarter of play that ended 21-19 in favour of the Aussies, France could not maintain their competitive edge and as a result Australia started the second quarter on a 15-0 run. At that point, the Kangaroos kept a comfortable lead throughout the rest of the game to earn themselves their sixth point of the group stage, remaining undefeated heading into their fourth game against Japan.
Meanwhile, France took their first loss of the group stage, and yet they’re are still in a solid position to advance to the knockout rounds with five points on the board after three games. They will look to rebound from the loss in their upcoming game versus Brazil.
Brazil vs. Belarus
Both nations came in to the match-up looking for their first win, and the desire of tasting victory translated into an exciting game of basketball.
Brazil had Belarus on their heels early on with a 12-point lead at the end of the first quarter, 28-16. It seemed as if the Brazilians were on their way to a comfortable win and earn a much-needed two points after extending their lead to 18 at the start of the second quarter. However, Belarus responded in tremendous fashion and went into halftime only behind by five (40-35) after a 15-2 run.
The game’s intensity only rose after halftime, as it became a tightly contested battle between the two teams. The score at the end of the third quarter was 50-50 with plenty of crucial plays to be made.
Tatyana Troina lead the way for Belarus with 18 points and stepped up hugely in the clutch for her nation. With seconds remaining, and facing a one-point deficit at 63-62, she was able to drain a three point shot to give Belarus a narrow two-point lead. The ensuing play from Brazil was an attempt to send the ball game into overtime, but the plan failed after the ball bounced off the rim as the clock ran down.
Turkey vs. Japan
Turkey came into the match-up as another nation looking for their first win of the competition, and at first glance faced a difficult challenge in Japan, a team that had grown confident having won their first two games of the competition.
The Turks were not to be denied though, as they started wonderfully with a 24-9 lead going into the second quarter and maintained their level of play throughout the contest. Japan bettered their play in the second quarter, but still trailed by 15 at the half (38-23).
The second half started without much change as Japan remained the inferior team, as they weren’t able to match up with their opponents. The Japanese simply were not good enough on the day and could not keep up with Turkey’s intensity. Lara Sanders particularly impressed, dropping 36 points along with seven rebounds to lead the Turks to a 76-62 victory.