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Aussies defeat Rio rival France

30 July 2016

BASKETBALL: Australia have gained a confidence boost from a clinical performance against France in the second game of their USA warm-up tour with a 76-67 victory.

Ranked 4th in the world, France were blown out of the water across the second and third periods as Australia went on a 28-6 run.

Penny Taylor and Elizabeth Cambage, who finished with a double-double, were the main culprits with Taylor drawing fouls on several drives while Cambage owned the paint in a second dominant performance.

Tessa Lavey (six points, three assists) and Cayla George (two points, one assist) also added to France’s pain off the bench during the run.

As a team, they held France to 0 field goals in the final 5:46 of the second period and restricted them to nine field goals with ten turnovers for the first half.

Jumping out to the biggest lead of the game early in the third quarter then allowed coach Brendan Joyce to use his entire squad while Erin Phillips put on a show for the crowd in the final term with consecutive three-pointers, finishing with a game-high 20 points on 4-5 long range shooting.

"I am very pleased with how we are progressing after beating two very good teams," said Joyce.

"I am happy with how we improved our game from when we last played France but there are still areas for improvement.

"We got a lot out of the match to improve upon before we meet again in Rio and we are starting to play well together offensively.

"Our team defence is also moving towards the same level we had at the 2014 World Championships."

Just as they had done against Canada two days previous, Australia was very efficient at the offensive end from the outset, shooting 7-11 as a team in the first quarter to gain a two-point lead.

Cambage (19 points, ten rebounds) was the focus with Phillips playing the role of distributor to perfection and when Taylor (12 points, six rebounds) found her shot in the second term, she kick-started Australia's game winning run.

They shot 46% from the field and 7-15 from beyond the arc as a team and again won the rebound count convincingly, 33-24.

Basketball Australia

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