The Emerging Opals have secured a hard-fought 81-72 victory over Chinese Taipei to maintain their unbeaten streak and advance to the Semi-Finals of the 2019 World University Games.
Australia led for almost the entire contest but Chinese Taipei were never far away, threatening with several runs before time eventually ran out for a comeback.
As has been the case for most of the tournament, the Emerging Opals front court did the damage and it was Keely Froling and Ezi Magbegor that set the tone by scoring nine points apiece in the first period.
That helped their side create an eight-point gap but just as it looked like they may run away with it, Chinese Taipei reduced the margin to one by finding their shooting stroke.
Australia replied to take a six-point lead into half-time courtesy of a big quarter from Lauren Scherf who tallied 14 points and eight boards while Froling (15 points, seven rebounds) and Magbegor (15 points, four boards) had each moved into double-figure scoring as well.
That momentum carried the Emerging Opals to their biggest lead of the game midway through the third but once again Chinese Taipei did not give in, cutting a ten-point lead down to just two at three-quarter time.
Needing another response, the Australians got it from Stephanie Reid (eight points) and Scherf who continued to dominate on her way to a game-high 26 points, ten rebounds and three blocks.
That saw the Aussies move back in front by eight, four minutes into the final period and this time, there would not be another comeback from Chinese Taipei.
The Emerging Opals were able to consolidate a nine-point victory with Maddison Rocci (four points, five rebounds, five assists) playing a nice cameo.
Find the stats here.
The Emerging Opals now prepare for a Semi-Final early Tuesday morning Australian time with that clash and their medal game to be streamed via the Olympic Channel.
There will be an Australian double-header at that time with the Emerging Boomers taking on Argentina in their Quarter-Final at 4am AEST. A win there will also see their final two games streamed via the Olympic Channel.
The Emerging Opals and Emerging Boomers Schedule for the 2019 World Uni Games (all times AEST):
July 3: Emerging Opals def. Finland 68-51
July 5: Emerging Opals def. Canada 85-51
July 5: Emerging Boomers def. by Israel 64-92
July 5: Emerging Opals def. China 90-84
July 5: Emerging Boomers def. Mexico 105-62
July 7: Emerging Boomers def. Czech Republic 88-59
July 8: Quarter-Final- Emerging Opals def. Chinese Taipei 81-72
July 9: Emerging Boomers’ Quarter-Final vs. Argentina at 4am
July 9: Emerging Opals’ Semi-Final at 1.30am or 4am
July 10: Emerging Boomers’ Semi-Final at 1.30am or 4am
July 11: Emerging Opals’ medal game at 1.30am and 4am
July 12: Emerging Boomers’ medal game at 1.30am and 4am