Gliders start North America Cup - Win over Canada

The Gliders claimed their third straight win over fierce rivals and world number one Canada in their opening game of the 2008 North America Cup this morning, 44-42.


The Aussies, fresh off their thirds place finish at the 2008 Joseph F. Lyttle World Basketball Challenge in Warm Springs, Georgia last weekend, led at every break with outstanidn ball control and their signature defensive pressure the catalysts for the win.


“It’s pleasing to have crunch time opportunities and come through with a win,” Head Coach Gerry Hewson said.


Lisel Tesch and Sarah Stewart led the way with 11 points each with Cobi Crispin netting seven points in support in a game that saw key player Shelley Chaplin received limited minutes after sustaining a shoulder injury last week.


Here is how the game unfolded:


The game started amidst a huge thunderstorm outside which wreaked havoc with the lighting on the Gliders end of the court.  However, they were able to overcome the adversity to lead 7 – 0 at the beginning of the game.  The Aussies started strongly keeping Canada scoreless for the first 6 minutes, however did not capitalise on offensive opportunities making only 4 for 19 shots.


During the second quarter the Gliders ran a number of different combinations, specifically the 4, 3, 3, 3, 1 combination, which performed well leading to the Gliders outscoring Canada 14 – 12 during this stanza of the game.


Lapses in defensive safety gave the Canadians a number of fastbreak opportunities at the beginning of the second half with Chantal Benoit scoring some easy lay-ups.  Coach Hewson frequently rotated his combinations again to allow all players some vital playing minutes.


Australia’s good defense caused Canada to need to take a number of rushed shots at the end of their shot clock in the 4th quarter.  Canada again needed to foul to try and close the gap in the score with 3 minutes to go which limited our scoring opportunities to foul shots, however the Gliders were able to hold onto their lead to finish the game 2 points ahead.


Some pleasing outcomes of this game were only 9 turnovers for the game, an increase in our free throw shooting percentages and some good contributions from a number of different combinations. 


Quarter time - AUS 9 CAN 6

Half time – AUS 23 – CAN 18

¾ time – AUS 40 – CAN 32

Full time AUS 44 – CAN 42


Top scorers:


#9 – Liesl Tesch – 11 points

#13 – Sarah Stewart – 11 points

#5 – Cobi Crispin – 7 points



#14 – Misty Thoma- 15 points

#15 – Tara Feser – 9 points

#9 – Chantal Benoit – 8 points


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