The Australian Devils are off to the perfect start at the 2019 IWBF Under-25 World Championships, beating Germany 55-37 in their opening game of the tournament.
A strong defensive performance and a domination on the defensive glass set up the victory, as the Devils held Germany to 26% shooting while finishing with a 41-18 edge in defensive rebounds.
Annabelle Lindsay and Teisha Shadwell (12 points, 11 rebounds, four assists) had the Devils rolling early as they scored 13 of the Devils’ first 15 points.
Mary Friday and Isabel Martin helped Australia gain an edge in the rebounds as well before Taishar Ovens came off the bench to maintain the scoreboard pressure and give the Devils a double-digit lead at quarter-time.
Germany responded with an 8-2 run to begin the second term as turnovers and foul trouble became a concern for Australia.
However, Lindsay (27 points, 12 rebounds, three steals) ended the drought with a transition lay-up before Jess Cronje (eight points, eight boards) subbed in, making a significant impact off the bench by scoring or assisting on four straight possessions.
That saw the Devils return to their first-quarter form and take a 14-point lead into the main break.
“Through some foul trouble we had to bring Jess off the bench and play with her Annabelle, Mary, Taishar and Isabel,” said Devils head coach Stephen Charlton.
“Our one-pointers were exceptional though and really changed the course of the game. They handled the pressure, their defence through the zone was really good and we were able to play Mary as a point guard in the half-court offence.”
The Devils did not let half-time distract them from their goal, maintaining their pressure at both ends of the floor as Lindsay continued to shine offensively while Martin (two points, three rebounds) and Latu (four points, four assists) also sunk baskets.
The lead got as high at 24 late in the fourth quarter but while Germany finished the game by winning the fourth term 12-8, the damage had been done.
“Against a quality nation like Germany, we’re very pleased to get a win first up,” said Charlton.
“They threw some stuff at us in the first half, we had to go deep in the bench and find some things.
“But you never know what the first game is going to be like so to come out, get everyone on the court and tough out a win, I’m really proud of the girls.”
Find the box score here and watch the replay below.
The Devils return to the floor on Friday night at 6pm AEST to take on Turkey as the group stage continues.
All games can be viewed live on the IWBF Facebook page or the IWBF YouTube channel while stats can be located via the tournament’s official website.
The Australian Devils schedule for the 2019 IWBF U25 World Championships (all times AEST):
May 23: Devils vs. Germany at 7pm
May 24: Devils vs. Turkey at 6pm
May 25: Devils vs. USA at 8.15pm
May 26: Quarter-Finals
May 27: Semi-Finals
May 28: Medal games