Opals through to World Cup quarter-finals
Another standout performance from Liz Cambage has inspired Australia to a 90-64 victory over Turkey at the women’s basketball World Cup in Spain.
The Opals centre scored 25 points to lead Australia to an undefeated run through the group phase in Tenerife and book a place in Friday night’s quarter-finals.
Continuing her career-best form, Cambage exploded for 24 points on 11-of-11 shooting in the first half, 14 of those coming in a dynamic opening quarter won by Australia 32-19.
With Cambage unstoppable close to the basket and her teammates hitting from beyond the arc with 11 of 23 from three-point range, the Opals were never troubled on their way to their third win in three games.
Eleven players scored for the Opals with Rebecca Allen (13), Cayla George (12) and Sami Whitcomb (11) joining Cambage in double figures.
Australia’s quarter-final opponents will be determined following Wednesday night’s qualifying games between the second and third-placed teams in the remaining groups.
The Opals are hoping captain Jenna O’Hea will be available for the knockout stages having sat out the preliminary matches with a calf muscle complaint.
Cambage got off to the perfect start against Turkey, making all six of her shots, including a three-pointer, on her way to 14 first-quarter points.
Australia’s outside shooters were also on target early with George, Whitcomb and Steph Talbot all connecting from long range for a 13-point lead after one quarter.
The offensive onslaught continued in the second with the Opals extending the gap to 28 points before Turkey fought back for a 53-33 scoreline at the half.
Cambage’s perfect shooting night came unstuck early in the third quarter but the Opals kept the scoreboard ticking over, allowing coach Sandy Brondello to rest her leading scorer for the majority of the second half.
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