The Australian Opals have completed the group stage of the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games undefeated, thrashing England 118-55 for a third consecutive victory.
Dominating every facet of the contest from the opening tip, the Opals had every player score for the third straight game, combining to shoot 58% from the field and 25-27 from the free-throw line.
Their forwards did a majority of the damage, owning a 54-18 rebound edge while the team’s passing inside was just as impressive with 36 assists coming on their 43 field goals.
Liz Cambage scored the first seven points of the game unanswered as she again set the tone for the Opals and she finished with 30 points on 10-16 shooting with five rebounds and three steals while also knocking down a perfect 10-10 from the charity stripe.
Her points tally is the highest for an Australian Opal not named Lauren Jackson at a Commonwealth Games and also the fourth highest individual score for an Aussie in the tournament’s history.
Her starting front court partner, Cayla George, tallied a double-double of 11 points and ten rebounds while Kelsey Griffin (14 points, eight rebounds, five assists) and Ezi Magbegor (14 points, four boards) combined in the third term once Cambage went to the bench to maintain Australia’s blistering pace.
Cayla George, defensive stalwart ?️
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Jenna O’Hea controlled the tempo of the contest with nine points and six assists while Katie Ebzery (seven points, four assists) provided one of the highlights of the game when she sunk a three-point runner on the half-time siren.
At one stage in the third quarter, Cambage had equalled England’s total by herself but coach Sandy Brondello was keen to give her entire roster a run on the court and Alice Kunek made the most of her opportunity, recording ten points and eight rebounds almost all in the final term as the Opals completed an astounding performance.
Find the box score here.
The Opals will now enjoy a three-day break while the qualifying finals are held and they will then take on the winner of Mozambique/New Zealand in the Semi-Final on Friday night.
Australian Boomers and Opals Schedule at the 2018 Commonwealth Games (all times AEST):
April 9: Boomers vs. Nigeria at 9.00pm
April 13: Opals Semi-Finals at 6.30pm or 9.00pm
April 14: Boomers Semi-Finals at 10am or 12.30pm
April 14: Opals Bronze (6.00pm) and Gold Medal (8.30pm) Games
April 15: Boomers Bronze (9.00am) and Gold Medal (12.30pm) Games