The Sky Sport Tall Ferns are heading home following their 64-89 loss to world #11-ranked Turkey overnight, in the final friendly of their Europe Tour.
Playing again at Şehit Er Mustafa Özel Sport Complex in Istanbul, the Tall Ferns fell behind by 7 points after the first quarter, with Turkey’s extending their lead to double digits at half time. In front of their home crowd, Turkey utilised a fast-paced running / passing game – generated 18 fast break points and assisting on 24 of their 36 made field goals – to help come away with the 25 point win.
Penina Davidson had her best game of the tour with 12 points, 11 rebounds, 4 assists and a pair of steals, shooting 5/9 from the field. Tera Reed had another strong game with 12 points, while captain Stella Beck added 11 points and 7 rebounds. Charlisse Leger-Walker scored 9, sister Krystal added 8 and 4 assists, and Kendell Heremaia tallied 7 points on 3/3 shooting.
Turkey was led by Eurobasket guard Sevgi Uzun and her 13 points, while Derin Erdogan scored 12 points on 4/5 shooting from beyond the arc; Turkey making 12 triples on the night at a 43% clip.
The Turkish team controlled the game on offense, scoring 44 points inside the paint and shooting 54% from the field overall. Despite the loss, New Zealand will be happy with both their efforts on the glass – where they enjoyed a 40-33 rebounding advantage, including 16 offensive boards – and at the charity stripe, where they converted a tour-best 12/14 from the line (86%).
Head coach Jody Cameron says that this Europe Tour has been an extremely beneficial for all the athletes in the squad.
“The international style of play and the physicality of this tour has been great; it’s a good opportunity for those new players coming through the Tall Ferns programme to perform at an elite level,” says Cameron.
“Charlisse, Stella and Penina are leading the players as the vets in the team, and everyone is responding [positively] to that leadership.”
The Tall Ferns now return to New Zealand to continue preparations for the FIBA Women’s Asia Cup, which tips off in Sydney from 26 June – 2 July.