FIBA U19 World Championship for Women France sure of place in quarter-final
France have assured a place in the last 8 of the U19 FIBA World Championship for Women after beating Brazil (67-55). However Australia remain on top of the group after holding off Spain (65-61).
France are assured another top 8 finish in another youth world championship competition after ending the perfect record of Brazil (67-55).
It was a tough match for France because Valériane Ayayi who top scored for France with 15 points spent most of the game on the bench.
During the first six minutes of the game, she picked up 4 fouls while scoring 11 points. In addition Eléonore Grossemy did not play.
All the same France led from start to finish and edged the first quarter (18-15).
France stretched the advantage to 10 points by the interval thanks to shots from beyond the arc by Sabrine Bouzenna and Jenny Fouasseau (35-25).
Fouasseau continued her three-point shooting festival as the lead grew to 17 points (47-30) four minutes into the third quarter.
However once Damiris Dantas started to run the show for Brazil, the advantage started to shrink. By the end of the quarter the deficit was just 4 points (47-51).
Brazil trailed by just 2 points with eight minutes to play and kept the game close until the last five minutes.
Clarince Djaldi-Tabdi (left), the youngest member of the French team, was all over the court as France pulled away for good. She finished the game with 10 points and 10 rebounds while Adja Konteh and Fouasseau scored 12 and 11 points apiece.
Dantas from Brazil was by far the best player on the court with 25 points and 10 rebounds. She actually finished with a triple double because she was fouled on 11 occasions. Tassia Carcavalli was the only other player in double digits with 10 points.
The Australian Gems were pushed all the way by Spain but prevailed (65-61) and are alone on top of Group F before the final game against Brazil.
Spain were the more aggressive team at the start and led by as many as 7 points with Astou Ndour doing most of damage.
All the same Australia regained their composure. With Sara Blicavs scoring the last points of the quarter, they trimmed the deficit to 3 points (14-17).
Australia were warming up slowly. Midway through the quarter it was all systems go. With 10 unanswered points they went in front with 11 points (33-22) with just under 17 minutes played.
Spain struggled to find their feet but were fortunate that Elena Diaz' three-ball went in for them to trail by just 7 points (29-36) going into the locker room.
Spain were the better team after the break with fast tempo basketball which enabled to regain the advantage and stay in front going into the last quarter (50-48).
Spain led by as many as 8 points with Laura Gil and Ndour doing most of the damage with just over six minutes to play. However Australia were not done and with the two Rebeccas, Cole and Allen, the fightback started
Allen went on a three-point shooting festival connecting three times while her team-mates applied a full court press.
Spain started to make errors and Australia were back in front (63-61) with a minute to play.
The end was messy but Gretel Tippett (right), with her 15th point of the day, sealed the victory. Tippet also had 10 rebounds. Taylor Roberts was the other Gem in double digits with 11.
For Spain Ndour and Gil with 17 and 14 points were the major scorers.
Spain must win their final match. Otherwise the 2009 U19 FIBA World Championship for Women silver medallists will be eliminated.
In the other encounter in the group Chinese Taipei beat the hosts Chile (66-41). Jung-Hsing Liu led the way with 17 points and 8 rebounds, while I-Hsiu Cheng had 14 points and picked up 7 rebounds.