The Aon Junior Tall Ferns have fallen to Australia 82-66 at the Under 18 Asian Championship, eliminating them from contention.
New Zealand has plenty to be proud of with their play in India. They fought hard and competed against some of the world’s top teams, putting themselves on the map for future events.
Ella Bradley had her best game of the tournament, recording 14 points and 12 rebounds on 5-of-11 shooting from the field. Leah Mafua scored 13 points for New Zealand, while Tayla Dalton dropped 10. Grace Hunter added nine points with three 3-pointers.
Australia led by as much as 30 points at one stage, but New Zealand fought back and closed the gap in the fourth quarter. It wouldn’t be enough to get the win, but it was an inspiring finish by the girls, who played hard until the final buzzer.
New Zealand actually managed to win the rebounding battle for the game, but it was their 33 turnovers that really held them back from making a run. Those turnovers led to 36 points for Australia.
Head coach Jody Cameron is proud of the team’s performance against a tough Australian squad.
“Some foul calls against us really put us on the back foot and stopped us from gaining any momentum during the game. I’m super proud of the fight that the girls showed throughout; they never gave up, even when Australia went on offensive runs.
“We have one more game tomorrow and we’ll be looking to bounce back.”
The Junior Tall Ferns will have one final game tomorrow to determine the 5th placed team at the U18 Asian Championship. The game will be live-streamed on the FIBA Youtube channel, and you can also watch LIVE on the Basketball New Zealand Facebook page.
The full box score from the game can be found HERE.