Gems defeat Mali, advance to quarterfinals | FIBA U19 Women's World Championship
The Australian U19 Women's squad has advanced to the quarterfinals of the FIBA U19 Women's World Championship after a 91-23 crushing of Mali.
Alicia Froling finished with 19 points and 5 rebounds as the Gems remain undefeated in the tournament.
Against a smaller Malian lineup, the Gems began the game looking to get the ball inside as much as possible. A 15-2 run to open the fixture, capped off by back-to-back 3-pointers from Anneli Maley and Tahlia Tupaea, saw Australia in prime position to seal the game early.
Mali began to find their stroke late in the quarter but Australia had already done their damage, leading 23-12 at the end of the period, thanks to some solid play from Alicia Froling.
The second quarter saw the Gems remain aggressive on both ends of the floor. Alex Sharp opened the period with back-to-back jumpshots, with Chantel Horvat following with back-to-back and-ones.
The Gems were proving to be too much for Mali, as they quickly extended their lead over the course of the quarter, leading 58-20 heading into the main break - with a spot in the quarterfinals all but sealed by that point.
Coming off the bench in previous games in the tournament, Horvat got the start to begin the third quarter, and she showed her worth, with her relentless activity on both ends of the floor leading yet another run for the Gems.
After a tremendous effort on the defensive end - holding Mali to just one point in the third quarter - the Gems had a commanding 76-21 lead.
The final period began with a 7-0 run for the Gems, with Froling continuing to dominate inside the paint. Mali had trouble finding any fluidity on the offensive end, while Australia ran the course for the rest of the game, coming away with the 91-23 victory.
Alanna Smith has 16 points, 9 rebounds and 4 blocks, while Chantel Horvat provided an impressive 14 points, 3 steals and 2 blocks off the bench.
The Gems held Mali to just three points in the entire second half, holding them to 15.8% shooting for the game.
Watch a full replay of the game below. The boxscore can be found here.
The Gems will have a much-earned rest day on Thursday, before the quarterfinals action begin on Friday night, facing China at 8:30pm (AEST).