Gems through to World Championship Semis

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The Jayco Australian Gems fast start set the agenda for their 83-46 defeat of China at the 2015 FIBA U19 Women’s World Championships on Friday night.

The victory ensures the Gems a spot in the semi-finals, with their next game against the host nation, Russia on Saturday night. They are now just one win away from successive podium finishes and making their first Final since 1997. The semi-final will be streamed live via from midnight AEST.

China were caught cold in the first quarter and never recovered from falling 25-13 behind after the opening 10 minutes of play. The Gems swept up on the glass and were completely dominant. They outrebounded their opponents 59-34 and bagged 10 second-chance points in the first quarter alone, with that duel ending up 27-0 in the favour of the Gems.

“The girls produced a clinical and disciplined display of basketball today,” said coach Paul Goriss. “They showed a great focus on taking care of the ball, boxing out and maintaining constant defensive pressure for 40mins. Only having 5 turnovers for the game is a fantastic result. We only gave up 5 offensive rebounds.”

Goriss also paid tribute to the group effort, saying, “Again everybody contributed and our team is deep with all 12 players being a threat.”

Kristy Wallace was typically important in the backcourt and led by example as captain of the side with 12 points, while Alanna Smith top-scored with 14 points – although it wasn’t her most memorable shooting night.

Box scores from the game can be found here.

“Nine out of our 12 players have come from the Opals’ Centre of Excellence over the past two years and we are showing the rewards and benefits of this world-class program,” said Goriss. “We have had five girls invited to opals camp through out the last two years. Our skill, strength, conditioning and team culture shows on the floor. We are together and tight as a group and continue to get better each game.”

Watch the full game, here via FIBA’s YouTube channel: