The Tall Ferns began the second round of games in the Four Nations Tournament in Xilinhot, China on Thursday night against the hosts.
Six days after receiving a sixty points mauling at the hands of China the Tall Ferns faced the number one ranked team in Asia again, this time without the services of guard Toni Edmondson. Having carried a heavy workload in the opening three games the Ferns leading scorer was rested for the game.
New Zealand opened this game in much better fashion than the encounter in Henyang trailing just 23-16 at the first interval.
However a 10-0 run early in the second from China helped them to a 43-24 half-time lead.
Turnovers proved costly for the Kiwis, a total of thirty hurting their cause as they slipped to a 90-52 defeat. Despite the 38 points margin assistant coach Aik Ho said, “It was a much improved performance and it was good to play everyone especially some of the younger players.”
One of the younger players to benefit from more court time was 21 year former North Harbour guard Brooke Blair who converted 2 from 3 triples in her ten minutes on court.
The Tall Ferns shot an extremely high 71% (5/7) from behind the three-point arc compared with 41% (17/41) from two points range.
BYU standout Kalani Purcell led the Tall Ferns scoring effort with 14 points. She was the only player in double figures although the Townsville Fire pair of Micaela Cocks and Chevannah Paalvast scored 8 points apiece.
Stella Beck and Penina Davidson made welcome returns to the Tall Ferns following college commitment in the USA.
The pair had only been with the team for 24 hours, participating in their first training run on the morning of the game, but were still thrown into action by the coaching staff. Davidson had 5 points and a team high 7 rebounds in 24 minutes whilst Beck scored with her only scoring attempt in her 16 minutes on court.
Tall Ferns 52 – Purcell 14, Cocks 8, Paalvast 8, Blair 6, Davidson 5, Franklin 4, Bygate 2, Beck 2, Noyer 2, Wallbutton 1
The Tall Ferns next game is on Friday against Montenegro.