The Sky Sport Tall Ferns lost 82-44 to Australia on Wednesday night, in their second game at the 2019 FIBA Asia Cup in Bangalore.
Toni Farnworth (12 points) and Micaela Cocks (10 points) led the Tall Ferns scoring but against Australia’s relentless defence no other players threatened double figures.
Following a poor shooting night against China on Tuesday Tall Ferns Head Coach Guy Molloy was optimistic his team would put together a better offensive performance.
“We were hoping for a much better shooting performance against Australia. Pretty much everybody was pretty cold against China and we know we can shoot the ball a lot better,” said Molloy.
Unfortunately he will be hoping it’s third time lucky against the Philippines on Thursday as his team’s shooting was once again below par against Australia. The Kiwis made 7 from 36 (19%) from beyond the arc and just 15 from 61(24%) from the field overall.
“The shooting continues to desert us,” said Molloy after the game.
Despite the defeat Molloy thought there were definite signs of improvement.
“I was pretty pleased with our ball movement, energy and competitiveness that enabled us to stay in the game until the last three or four minutes of the second quarter. After that it kind of got away from us against the third rated team in the world.
“I thought we had a lot more energy than we did against China and our process was significantly superior to day one so hopefully we are settling into the tournament. We only had 15 turnovers which was pleasing and we shared the ball well,” reflected Molloy.
Australia scored the first five points of the game before Penina Davidson opened the Tall Ferns account. Ashleigh Karaitiana scored six points in the opening stanza which concluded with New Zealand trailing 17-11.
Cocks scored eight straight points early in the second period as the Kiwis closed to within two points (21-19). Australia answered with an 11-2 run and although Tessa Boagni scored inside and Farnworth connected from deep the Tall Ferns found themselves 43-25 down at half-time.
In the second half Australia demonstrated why they are ranked No 3 in the world. Their swarming defence restricted New Zealand to just 19 points in the half whilst at the offensive end precise ball movement created numerous easy baskets.
Triples in the final quarter from Charlisse Leger-Walker and Natalie Taylor were merely consolation points for the Tall Ferns who have 24 hours to prepare for a vital game against the Philippines.
A win in the final pool game would secure the Tall Ferns third spot in Group B and a quarter-final with the second placed team in Group A – most likely Korea. A loss and the Kiwis would face a relegation encounter against India.
- Tall Ferns 44 – T Farnworth 12, M Cocks 10/3a, A Karaitiana 6/3st, P Davidson 4/6r
- Australia 82 – E Magbegor 14, D Garbin 13
Box score here:
FIBA Asia Cup information including video highlights: http://www.fiba.basketball/womensasiacup/2019
SKY SPORT TALL FERNS TEAM
- Stella Beck (Melbourne Boomers)
- Tessa Boagni (Alloyfold Canterbury Wildcats)
- Micaela Cocks (Townsville Fire)
- Penina Davidson (Melbourne Boomers/Harbour Breeze)
- Toni Farnworth (Melbourne Boomers)
- Ella Fotu (Harbour Breeze)
- Ashleigh Karaitiana (Southern District Spartans, Australia)
- Charlisse Leger-Walker (Waikato Wizards/St Peter’s School, Cambridge)
- Chevannah Paalvast (Sunshine Coast Rip, Australia)
- Kalani Purcell (Melbourne Boomers/Auckland Dream)
- Natalie Taylor (Auckland Dream/Southern District Spartans, Australia)
- Amy West (McAlpines M10 Mega North Canterbury Spirit / St Mary’s College, USA)
- Head Coach – Guy Molloy
- Assistant Coach – Aik Ho
- Assistant Coach – Jody Cameron
- Manager – Lisa Wallbutton
Asia Cup Game Schedule:
- Tuesday 24 September 5:45pm Tall Ferns vs China (00:15am Wednesday NZT): Lost 44 – 67
- Wednesday 25 September 1:15pm Tall Ferns vs Australia (19:45 NZT)
- Thursday 26 September 1:15pm Tall Ferns vs Philippines (19:45 NZT)
- Friday 27 September: Quarter Finals
- Saturday 28 September Semi Finals
- Sunday 29 September Finals