SYDNEY (Friendly Games) - The Australian women's basketball team completed a clean sweep of Chinese Taipei in Terrigal on Saturday night, winning the third and final game by twenty-four points, 77-53.
A 22-8 second quarter blitz gave the Opals a twenty point lead at half time and the reigning World Champions controlled the contest for the remainder.
Natalia Porter top scored for Australia with 16 points while Rohanee Cox (10 points), Alicia Poto (9 points), Emma Randall (9 points) and Jenni Screen (9 points) all kept the scorers busy.
With forty-three and 32-point victories in the previous two games, Australia has responded well to last month's lacklustre test event performance and is back on track for an Olympic medal push.
Next step for the Opals is a training camp in Cairns in early June.
"We wanted a tight game tonight because the other two games have been quite a margin," Opals head coach Jan Stirling said.
"It makes us have a different thinking cap on, so we were challenged and that's what we wanted.
"In the end it was very pleasing and we've certainly got some things to work on."
Porter, Poto, Screen, Carly Wilson and Hollie Grima started for the Opals and it was Porter that scored first on a mid range jump shot. Australia raced out to a 12-2 lead before Chinese Taipei converted some slick passing to get back into the period but after one quarter Australia led 22-16.
The Opals were careless with the ball in the second quarter and Chinese Taipei showed great spirit to reduce the margin to three points but Australia's full court defence terrorised the tourists and a 9-0 run into half time put Australia ahead by 20 points, 44-24.
Australia tried to blow Chinese Taipei out of the game from long range after the break but was largely unsuccessful and the visitors kept pace. After three quarters the Opals led, 67-43
Chinese Taipei fought to the end but was not able to seriously threaten a fatiguing Australia and the Opals took victory by 24 points.
Hui-Yun Cheng top scored for Chinese Taipei with 12 points.
For the third night in a row, Australia dominated the rebound count (41-24).
Quarter by quarter:
1: AUS 22 TPE 16
H: AUS 44 TPE 24 (22-8)
3: AUS 67 TPE 43 (23-19)
F: AUS 77 TPE 53 (10-10)
AUSTRALIA 77 - Natalie Porter 16, Rohanee Cox 10, Alicia Poto 9, Emma Randall 9, Jenni Screen 9, bt
CHINESE TAIPEI 53 - Hui-Yun Cheng 12, Chi-Wen Lin 11 , Pei-Chen Tsai 9
at Bridgecoast Stadium, Terrigal
photos Janos Schmidt