Australian Gliders glide past China women's national wheelchair basketball team

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Friday, July 20, 2012

Homebush Bay, New South Wales

Australia and China battle for the ball following a missed shot
Image: Bidgee.
A Chinese player warms up before the game
Image: LauraHale.
The Rollers warm up before the game
Image: LauraHale.
Leanne del Toso in yellow joins her teammates on the floor during player introductions
Image: LauraHale.
Amber Merritt in green joins her teammates on the floor during player introductions
Image: LauraHale.
The Rollers bring the ball down the floor during the game
Image: LauraHale.
Cobi Crispin shoots the ball
Image: LauraHale.

Earlier today, the Australian Gliders beat the Chinese women's national wheelchair basketball team 57–45 at the Rollers & Gliders World Challenge taking place at the Sport Centre at the Sydney Olympic Park.

China won the game's opening tip off but did not score in their first time down the floor. Australia's Sarah Stewart took and missed Australia's first shot. China's 1.5 point player Li Yanhua eventually made the game's first basket. Cobi Crispin made Australia's first basket at 6:55 left in the first quarter, successfully turning her basket into a three point play by making her free throw as a result of a personal foul. Aggressive first quarter play resulted in four Chinese personal fouls with 5:21 left. The first quarter ended 13–9 in China's favour.

The first half ended 24–20, with China leading. China's lead came with a high level of energy, the bench loudly supporting their players, few substitutions, lots of on the court talk, playing a half court game that involved setting up the defense early and fouling. In contrast, Australia played a different first half. The team did not yell from the bench or on the court, had many substitutions, ran the shot clock down and played a full court defense.

The second half contrasted visibly with the first. Fewer fouls were made by both teams. Australia continued to run the shot clock down but their bench woke up, started cheering loudly for their teammates and made fewer substitutions. The Australians tied the game 34–34 with 1:54 left in the third quarter. China's answer to the closer game was to start substituting players. Tactically, things were little changed as neither team changed their defensive game. The game was tied again at 9:01 left in the fourth with a score of 38–38. Australia was up 42–38 at 7:14 left in the fourth. Some of China's defensive difficulties continued to hold them back, including a player who entered the box early for a second time during a free throw shot by an Australian player.

The Gliders will play tomorrow at 2:30pm Sydney time in the first place match against an opponent to be determined in a game later today between Germany and Japan.



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