Defending bronze-medalist Australia scored a decisive win on Sunday to top Group A, while Great Britain clinched a spot in the quarterfinal round of the 2012 London Paralympics women’s wheelchair basketball.
Australia, who are looking to improve from their third-place finish in Beijing in 2008, escaped with a hard-earned 58-49 win over Group A rival Netherlands, who took their first defeat of the tournament.
In a battle of two undefeated teams, the Aussies came out playing with higher sense of urgency as they built an 18-12 lead after the first period and extended it to ten points at the half.
Netherlands attempted to make a comeback, but Australia had answers for their several runs, preventing a collapse with their tremendous defensive sets.
Mariska Beijer, who averaged 30 points in their first two games, was hounded by the Aussies all-game long and was limited to just seven points and five rebounds.
Amber Merritt led Australia with 19 points and five rebounds, while Cobi Crispin added 10 points and seven boards.
Meanwhile, the Great Britain women, who had a day-off on Sunday night, earned a ticket to the next round after Canada trounced Brazil, 65-51, in another Group A action.
Janet McLachlan had another tremendous night as she finished with 36 points and 23 rebounds, helping Canada improve to 2-1 to force a tie with Netherlands in the second spot in Group A.
With the loss, Brazil dropped to 0-3 and will not have a chance to unseat Great Britain on the fourth spot after the host defeated them in the group play last Saturday.
All eight teams that will advance to the next round have been determined and will fight four higher rankings in the final day of the tournament on Monday.
2012 London Women’s Wheelchair Basketball Day Three Results (Sunday – September 2)
- Germany 56 – 50 China
- Mexico 50 – 42 France
- Canada 65 – 51 Brazil
- Netherlands 49 – 58 Australia