From the start, the Australian National team looked more poised and wasted little time exerting their will over their Canadian opponents. The sheer size of the Aussies played a huge role in the outcome of this game. From Elizabeth Cambage, to Penny Taylor and Natalie Burton. They weren’t lacking in that department.
The Canadian National team didn’t get down on themselves when trailing by 23 points, they chipped away in the second half and cut the lead to two at one point. The Aussies executed down the stretch and left with an 80-67 win. They were led by WNBA vet Penny Taylor, she had 19 points on 6-of-9 shooting. Cambage was impressive as well, with 16 points and 5 rebounds.
There were a few bright spots for the Canadians in Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe and Uconn’s Kia Nurse. There resolve was impressive as a whole, to fight back from that big of a lead left an impact on the winning team as well. Taylor had kind words afterwards for Nurse and Cambage.
Lelani Mitchell. The diminutive guard proved why she spent some time in the WNBA last season. She played a very solid floor game for Australia, finishing with a line of 12 points, 6 rebounds and 4 assists.
Elizabeth Cambage. She’s every bit of 6’9, but she’s more than just a tall center. Cambage showed some agility, pump-faking and putting the ball on the floor during a drive to the basket. She also has nice touch around the rim and a decent jump shot. It’ll be fun to watch her grow during the remainder of this tour and during Olympic play in Rio.
Penny Taylor. She’s perfect for this group, when Canada made their run she was the one the team went to for calm. She hit a couple of big shots or run killers as I like to call them. It never hurts to have a go-to player on your team and Taylor is more than capable of performing in those situations.
Kia Nurse. The Uconn wing is getting great experience while representing her country. She definitely didn’t look out of her depth, Nurse just played her typical game. Active on defense, moved the ball as needed and found her spots to take shots. Despite shooting 2-of-7, her championship pedigree was on display, whether it was taking charges, hustling for loose balls, or hedging and switching on the defensive end.
Size. The Aussies only had four players that stood under six feet on their roster, while Canada had three. Other teams in the world outside of the US have great size and length both in the post and on the wings. Watching this game was just a reminder of this, teams are catching up from a physical stand point.