New Zealand defeated India 66-63 in their third and final group game at the FIBA Asian Championship in Bengaluru, India on Thursday.
New Zealand bounced back from their loss to Australia the previous day to keep their top four aspirations alive – but not without a huge scare as India produced a stirring second-half comeback to tie the game late, after previously being down as much as 15 points.
New Zealand scored the first 9 points of the game and India the next 9, before the Kiwis established a 17-9 quarter time lead – a Chatfield put-back the closing score of the period.
It was all New Zealand in the second quarter as a brace of Cowley threes – and a Maddie Morrow trey – helped the Kiwis to a 36-23 half-time lead.
With Lily Parke scoring the first points of the third frame, the New Zealand lead was out to a game high 15 points with the Junior Tall Ferns in control of proceedings. That control and advantage dissolved in the second half.
Vitolia Tuilave and Aria Cowley (16 points) kept the New Zealand lead in double figures before India, encouraged by the vocal home crowd, stormed back into the contest. A 9-0 run from the hosts reduced the deficit to a single point before Parke (11 points and 9 rebounds) steadied the New Zealand ship with four made free-throws – the Ferns ahead 51-47 at three-quarter time.
Cowley made her fifth triple of the game as the fourth quarter became a tail of missed opportunities for both teams. Four times India tied the game, but couldn’t come up with the go-ahead play – New Zealand unable to wrestle back the dominance displayed in the second quarter.
An and-1 play from Parke pushed the New Zealand advantage to 5 points (63-58) with 3:40 to play but India weren’t finished, tying the game with 2:18 on the clock.
Both teams had opportunities to seal the victory but it was Chatfield (8 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists) that made a crucial layup with 65 seconds to play. Cowley made a free-throw to stretch the advantage to three points inside the final minute and with New Zealand maintaining their composure in the closing seconds, India were unable to produce a game levelling score to the relief of the Kiwi players and supporters.
New Zealand face Chinese Taipei, victorious over China a couple of days ago, in Friday’s semi-final play-in game with nothing less than victory needed to keep their World Cup ambitions alive.
New Zealand 66 India 63
New Zealand: Cowley 16 PTS | Dallow 12 PTS & 8 REBS | Parke 11 PTS & 9 REBs | Chatfield 8 PTS, 10 REBS & 6 ASSISTS
India: M Kaur 21, S Krishnamurthi 15
New Zealand Schedule: (times given are local in New Zealand).
Tuesday 6 September LOST 81-64 v Korea
Wednesday 7 September LOST 111-44 v Australia
Thursday 8 September v WON 66-63 v India
Friday 9 September Semi-Final Play-in v Chinese Taipei (Tip-off 10.15pm)
The Asian Championship doubles as a qualifying tournament for the 2023 FIBA U19 World Championship. The top four teams in India qualify for the World Championship in Madrid, Spain in July 2023.
All games will be shown live via https://nz.basketball/tv/
Links to the streaming, rosters, statistics and live stats can be found here: https://www.fiba.basketball/asia/u18awomen/2022
NZ U18 Women’s National Team
Maia Chandler – Waikato Basketball
Mackenzie Chatfield – Harbour Basketball
Aria Cowley – Waikato Basketball
Florence Dallow – Harbour Basketball
Jyordanna Davey – Hutt Valley Basketball
Kate Herman – Canterbury Basketball
Allyah Leusogi-Ape – Basketball Auckland
Maddie Morrow – Canterbury Basketball
Sydney Neale – Waikato Basketball
Lilly Parke – Basketball Auckland
Lauren Tewhata – Wellington Basketball Association
Vitolia Tuilave – Waitakere West Auckland Basketball
Alana Paewai – Waikato Basketball (selected but unavailable due to injury)
Head Coach – Natalie Visger
Assistant Coach – Shay Haira
Assistant Coach – Liam Connelly
Team Manager – Katherine Wills
Physio – Shannon Spicer
Team Doctor – Jamie Lockyer