Opals lose first match since September - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

Opals lose first match since September

20/07/2007 05:12:56 PM Comments (0)

The Opals have suffered their first loss in almost a year after going down 64-59 in a thrilling clash with China in front of a vocal Shanghai crowd.

The Australian women's basketball team is on a 16-day tour of Asia and the loss is its first since falling to the US in a pre-World Championship tournament in North Carolina last September.

Playing in the seventh game of the tour, the Opals rebounded from a slow start that saw them trail 9-2 in the early stages.

Last year's world championship winners clawed their way back thanks to an improved offensive effort and trailed China 15-12 at the end of the first quarter.

The Australians came out firing in the second quarter and skipped out to a nine point lead, only to see the locals fight back and lead by a single basket at halftime.

With former Australia coach Tom Maher calling the shots for China, the home side fought out a tight third quarter with both sides adding 17 points to set up a thrilling final term.

The Opals failed to convert several high percentage chances in the paint and that proved costly with China doing enough when it mattered to take the first match of the best of three series by five points.

Rohanee Cox, Carly Wilson and Emma Randall were Australia's leading scorers with eight goals while Natalie Porter topped the rebounds for the Opals with seven and Alicia Poto had three assists.

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