Australian Gliders squeak out first place victory over Germany women's national wheelchair team

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Saturday, July 21, 2012

Homebush Bay, New South Wales

The German side during player introductions
Image: LauraHale.
Both sides listen while the German national anthem is played
Image: LauraHale.
The game's opening tip off
Image: LauraHale.
Cobi Crispin gets a wheel change
Image: LauraHale.
Germany's Marina Mohnen lines up her shot
Image: LauraHale.
Australia's Kylie Gauci passes the ball over Germany's Gesche Schünemann
Image: LauraHale.

Yesterday, the Australian Gliders beat the German women's national wheelchair basketball team 48–46 in the first place match at the Rollers & Gliders World Challenge taking place at the Sport Centre at the Sydney Olympic Park.

The two teams were close most of the game, with the first quarter ending 11–6 Germany, second quarter ending tied 19–19 and the third quarter ending 31–27. In the fourth, both teams had on court issues: the Australians got caught out several times because of shot clock violations. Meanwhile, the Germans had earned two personal fouls by the 8:43 mark, then four total by the 7:01 mark when they were behind 35–33.

The Australians pulled ahead to 40–33 with 6:01 remaining in the game, but then earned their first personal foul of the quarter at the 5:35 mark. By the 3:05 mark with the game at 42–38, Australia had four personal fouls, with Shelley Chaplin having four total in the game. Germany had a fast break in the second minute with Gesche Schünemann capitalizing on it to score and bring the game to 42–40. On another fast break opportunity, Germany again scored with Edina Muller leveling the score at 42–42. German frustration set in at the 1:18 mark when Marina Mohnen got a technical foul for unsportsman-like conduct, and then topped that off with a second technical foul. Following Australia's four attempted free throw attempts, they led 45–42. Australia's Cobi Crispin fouled a German player which resulted in Crispin being sent off for having five personals. The Germans capitalized on one free throw, which brought the score to 45–43. Germany tied the game up at 46–46 by the :21 second mark. With :08.5 seconds left, Amber Merrit scored for Australia bringing the score to 48–46. The score remained the same in the few remaining seconds, leaving Australia the winners.

The Gliders start their London Paralympics campaign on August 30 against Brazil.

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