Alanna Smith shines in Gems win over New Caledonia | FIBA Oceania U19 Championships for Women
Stanford signee Alanna Smith put on an impressive display of scoring, posting an efficient 28 points and 7 rebounds as the Australian U19 Gems win their 3rd in a row - defeating New Caledonia 125-22.
Photo credit to Basketball Fiji
Point guards Rachel Antoniadou and Montana Farrah-Seaton were also big off the bench, posting 17 and 18 points, respectively.
This win moves them to 3-0 in the tournament and is also the 2nd time they've outscored their opponent by more than 100 points, something of an expectation in the early games of this tournament.
The 1st quarter began with the Gems immediately looking to get the ball inside. Tahlia Tupaea, who was experiencing a quiet tournament up until this point, led the offensive charge as Australia took a demanding 24-3 lead late in the 1st quarter.
Tupaea continued her dominance in the 2nd quarter, this time with the help of Alanna Smith. The bench play from the Gems was particularly impressive in this period, with point guards Rachel Antoniadou and Montana Farrah-Seaton providing a spark off the pine - combining for 17 points, knocking down 8 of their 9 field goal attempts. The Gems would end the first half with a 59-11 lead.
The beginning of the 2nd half was when Anneli Maley came alive, seemingly pulling down every rebound in sight. As expected, the Gems didn't back down and continued to score in a variety of ways. The 4th quarter was when Alanna Smith, who is the 2nd leading scorer in the competition - averaging 20.7 ppg, began to heat up for Australia. Smith scored 8 of her 28 points in the period, dominating the paint on both ends of the floor.
Tahlia Tupaea | Photo credit to Basketball Fiji
Tahlia Tupaea, who is one of the more seasoned members of this Gems squad, would finish the game with 14 points while fellow guard Kristy Wallace would stuff the stat sheet with 9 pts, 6 asts & 5 stls.
Anneli Maley has also been quietly effective for this Gems squad, averaging 9.7 ppg & 10.7 rpg over their first 3 games.
Note: Dru Toleafoa, who represented NSW Metro at this year's U18 Australian Junior Championships, is having an impressive tournament as a member of the New Zealand Junior Tall Ferns. She's averaging 18.7 ppg on 60% FG, 50% 3pt and is a key member of their squad.
The Gems will face Guam at 11am (AEST) during Thursday's action, their last pool game for the tournament before the finals games begin on Friday.