The Australian Gems have completed the FIBA Under-18 Asian Championships by winning the bronze medal, exacting their revenge on Korea with a 75-58 victory.
Having fallen to Korea in the group stage by a point when they suffered a three-point barrage, the Gems knew what they had to do defensively to reverse the result and they started the bronze medal playoff well, forcing Korea to miss their first six three-point attempts.
Ashlee Hannan (five points) and Agnes Emma-Nnopu helped assert Australia’s dominance on the glass and their offensive boards were particularly important as they helped the Gems to a four-point lead at quarter-time.
However, the damage could have been worse as they hit just 6-11 from the free-throw line and Korea soon made them pay as their long-range shots began to fall.
They knocked down four from beyond the arc for the second term and turnovers were plaguing Australia at the other end before a Sam Simons (three points, three steals, one block) buzzer-beater ensured the scores were tied at the main break.
The Gems still had a distinct advantage on the boards though and Emma-Nnopu (17 points, 17 rebounds- 12 offensive, three steals) continued that trend in the third with her second chance opportunities keeping the margin manageable as Australia went on to record a 30-7 edge in offensive boards.
Miela Goodchild (21 points, nine rebounds, four steals) then caught fire, scoring five points in a row to spark a run that included a three-pointer from Jaz Shelley.
That enabled Australia to gain some breathing space and they carried the momentum into the final period with Goodchild drilling another triple to lead the Gems on an amazing 20-3 run.
That sealed the victory for the Gems as they exacted their revenge on Korea with Shelley (ten points, nine rebounds, five assists) and Isabel Palmer (nine points, five boards, four assists) putting the finishing touches on the game.
Find the box score here and watch the replay below.
Qualifying through the Asian zone for the first time, the Gems now know what it takes to battle with the best as they finished the tournament behind Japan and China.
However, they have still achieved their ultimate goal of reaching the 2019 Under-19 World Cup which will be held in Thailand from July 20-28.
The Australian Gems results from the 2018 FIBA Under-18 Asian Championships (all times AEDT):
October 28: Australia def. Indonesia (96-28)
October 29: Australia def. Chinese Taipei (106-66)
October 30: Australia def. by Korea (62-63)
November 1: Semi-Final Qualifier: Australia def. New Zealand (82-66)
November 2: Semi-Final: Australia def. by Japan (77-90)
November 3: Bronze Medal Playoff: Australia def. Korea (75-58)