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Basketball - 07. July 2007.

AUS/CAN - Sapphires beat Canada to reach semi-finals

VIDNOJE (FIBA U21 World Championship for Women) - Canada provided stiff resistance for a half but Australia's Sapphires trounced them over the final 23 minutes to reach the semi-finals of the FIBA U21 World Championship for Women.

The Aussies, whose only defeat was a narrow setback on the opening day of the tournament to the United States, prevailed 98-57 over the Canadians and now await the winner of the quarter-final between Brazil and France.

Canada appeared helpless at times against the strong offensive attack from Down Under, with the Australians shooting 39 of 68 (57.3%) inside the arc.

Gary Fox's team also dominated on the glass, pulling down 46 rebounds to 29 for Canada.

The North Americans were close, trailing 32-28 after Kadie Riverin's lay-up with 3:48 still to play in the first half and at the break, Australia's advantage was 39-32.

The game began to slip away from the Canadians in the third quarter when baskets from Abby Bishop, Renae Camino and Kathleen MacLeod stretched their advantage to 47-34.

Before Canada knew it, they were behind by 20 after a Bishop jump shot made it 60-40 with just under four minutes to go in the third quarter.

Australia cruised the rest of the way.

Chantella Perera had 16 points, Cayla Francis 15 and Camino 13 for Australia, who are hoping to strike another blow for women's basketball Down Under after the senior team's success in Brazil last year.


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