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Captain Taylor leads team over France

10 August 2016

BASKETBALL: Australia has defeated France 89-71 to remain unbeaten in the women's basketball competition at the Rio Olympic Games.   

The Australian team is now in poll position to win its pool ahead of the quarter-finals. 

Captain Penny Taylor led the way with 31 points, while Liz Cambage added 16 and Mariana Tolo 14. 

Australia controlled the game from the outset and led all the way against the world's fourth ranked team. 

“We knew France was going to be one of our toughest games,” Taylor said. “They are so versatile with their players and we knew that it was going to go for 40 minutes. They came back at us a few times but we really clamped down our defense.” 

Taylor was very humble when asked about her sensational 31 point contribution. 

“We have relied heavily on Liz the first two games and she’s performed, so dominant on the inside, and when she got into some foul trouble we needed our guards to step up a little. 

“Tolo came in and contributed amazingly in offensive and defence. So it was a great team effort.” 

Australia started brightly utilising Cambage's inside presence. The centre scored six early points before picking up two fouls, forcing her to the bench. 

Tolo came in for Cambage and the Aussies continued to look for scoring opportunities inside. 

After an even first quarter that saw Australia two points up at the break, momentum moved to the team on green and gold. 

Australia reeled off the first 15 points of the second quarter to set up a significant lead.  Tolo and Taylor were strong, with the captain posting 17 first half points. 

Cambage came back for the final play of the half and scored as Australia took a 46-29 lead to the locker room. 

France attempted to stem the tide in the third period but Australia extended its lead to 19 with one quarter remaining.  

France couldn't mount a comeback and Australia improved its record in Rio to 3-0. They now have a day-off before facing Japan. 

Kevin Diggerson
olympics.com.au

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