Gems, Emus win FIBA Oceania U19 C'ship opener
The Australian Emus and Gems have made a winning start to the 2012 FIBA Oceania Under 19 Championships, claiming victory in their opening games against New Zealand in Porirua on Thursday night.
It was a hard-fought win for the Gems (women’s U19 team) who needed late-game heroics from Alex Wilson and Canberra Capitals young gun Casey Samuels to overcome a determined Junior Tall Ferns side 72-65.
The story was a little less heart-racing for the Emus (men’s U19 team) as they cruised to an 85-64 victory on the back of a 30-13 third quarter performance.
Sporting six WNBL players on the roster the Gems received no favours from a gallant New Zealand team, struggling to shake off their opponents.
With the game tied at 65-65 with two minutes remaining it took some outstanding play from Wilson and Samuels to steady the ship and ensure the Gems walked away from Game One with a win.
Firstly Wilson (17 points) hit a clutch three-pointer before Samuels (22 points) nailed a crucial pull-up jumper to break the Kiwi resistance and ice the game.
Adelaide Lightning youngster Stephanie Talbot added 10 points and 11 rebounds to the cause while West Coast Waves player Darcee Garbin (8 points 9 rebounds) was also influential.
CLICK HERE to watch replay of Gems and Emus Game One wins.
For the Emus it was a third quarter explosion which killed off the Kiwi resistance, with exciting young gun Dante Exum leading the charge, finishing the game with 17 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists.
It was a solid all-round performance from the Emus with three additional players joining Exum in double-figures, including 12 point and 10 rebounds from Dane
Pineau and 12 points on 4-of-7 shooting from outside from Jack Lopez.