Australia’s emerging Opals opened their 2015 World University Games campaign by dominating Uganda 128-31 in a lop-sided contest.
The Africans were clearly no match for a talented Australian side boasting ten players with WNBL playing experience, 5 of which come into the tournament having played with the Opals in their recent tour of Europe. A devastating 31-9 first quarter by the Australians set the tone for the match, with six players scoring in double figures led by the outstanding play of Carley Mijovic’s 22 point and 10 rebound double-double with 4 assists.
Mijovic received great support from Tessa Lavey who gathered 17 points and 4 assists, and Sara Blicavs imposed herself on the game with 15 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assists and 4 blocks. Stephanie Talbot also impressed with 15 points, 7 rebounds and 4 assists, while Aimee Clydesdale gathered 15 points, 8 rebounds and 3 assists in the rout.
Australia opened on a 14-2 run and never trailed from that point on, with Talbot connecting on consecutive three-pointers to set the tone. Clydesdale landed a long jumper with another made by Vanessa Panousis (8 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists), resulting in the UniRoos making 5 of9 triples for the quarter to open up a 22 point lead.
Playing with relentless pressure while looking for opportunities to run, Australian continued to open up the margin. Uganda were struggling to find ways to score while the emerging Opals were using their success defensively to spark their offense (forcing 14 first half turnovers). With Joyce rotating his players through, he was able to maintain the intensity leading to a spread of scorers for the quarter as they led 58-12 at half time.
The result was never in doubt, and the UniRoos were ruthless in finishing off a hapless Uganda with a 70-19 battering in the second half to finish with a 97 point lead. Australian made a further 10 three-pointers in the second half to finish the game with 16 threes made on 33 attempts, while also dominating in the paint with a 76-24 rebound count and 14 blocked shots.
Brazil is next on the radar for the UniRoos on Monday at 6:30pm, a team who will be expected to provide far more of a challenge.
- 5 July, defeated Uganda 128-31.
- 6 July, 6:30pm vs Brazil
- 8 July, TBA vs Chinese Taipei
- 9 July, Quarter Finals
- 11 July, Semi Finals
- 12 July, Medals
Eurosport Australia will be broadcasting all the action from the semi finals onwards via Foxtel in Australia.