Gliders notch tough win over Brazil

The Gliders Australian women's wheelchair basketball team scored a heart-stopping 52-50 win over Brazil to open their campaign at the 2012 London Paralympic Games.

Cobi Crispin top scored for the Gliders with 18 points, and Amber Merritt added 16 to the total as well as 10 boards.

Brazilian captain Soares Martins led by example, scoring more than half of her team's total with 27 points.

 In a match that was tight throughout, there were two points or less between the Gliders and Brazil at the end of each quarter, with the game locked at 25 apiece at half-time.

Scores were level at 48-48 with 1:35 remaining in the match after Martins made one of two free throws, but Merritt came up with some big plays down the stretch. 

Merritt made a two in the paint, then grabbed the defensive rebound at the other end of the court before scoring another inside bucket to give Australia a 52-48 lead with 49 seconds left that proved decisive.

After the game, Merritt said she hopes to improve from here.

"As a group I think we performed really well and individually I just think I can only get better to be honest," Merritt said.

Gliders captain Bridie Kean said that the team always expected a tight first round encounter.

"It's a definite positive, it prepares us for the tough games coming up," Kean said.

The Gliders next game is against host nation Great Britain at 10:00PM on Friday night Australian Eastern Standard Time.



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