Sapphires cruise past New Caledonia to open tournament | FIBA Oceania U16 Championships for Women

The Australian U17 Women's squad has opened the FIBA Oceania U16 Championships for Women with a blow-out victory over New Caledonia.

The game was never in question, with the Sapphires in control from the tip-off, ultimately coming away with an encouraging 132-16 win.

Photo credit: Bill Hedges

The Sapphires came out of the gates with a lot of energy, pressing the New Caledonians, forcing turnovers that led to easy baskets in the paint.

As is usually the case with the small island nations, the individual talent just isn't there, so the Australian took advantage, jumping out to a 67-5 lead, heading into the main break. Centre of Excellence members Jasmine Simmons and Ezi Magbegor were leading the way - Simmons with 12 points and 6 rebounds, while Magbegor had 11 points and 5 rebounds.

A game of this nature gave the Sapphires a chance to rest key players in preparation for Saturday's matchup against New Zealand, whilst also giving some good minutes to the Australian bench.

Australia would continue to dominate the fixture, coming away with a 132-16 victory, Jazmin Shelley finishing with a game-high 21 points.

The Australian women were able to force 35 turnovers, while holding their opponent to just 17% shooting from the field.

Taylor Mole, originally listed as an emergency, was inserted into the team, replacing Ella Batish, who was unavailable for this tournament.

For more information on the roster, schedule, live stats and recaps, visit our Australian U17 Women's central page.