TOWNSVILLE (FIBA Oceania Championship for Women | FIBA Asia Championship for Women) - Australia made it two wins out of two in their friendly series against China but it was another close game in Townsville as the Opals fought back in the fourth quarter to edge out the visitors 77-74.
Australia, playing without injured Townsville star Rachael Flanagan, were down by six going into the final period, but outscored China 25-16 down the stretch to win it.
Elysee Penaluna led Australia with 20 points while Suzy Batkovic added 18. However, they were also indebted to Abby Bishop, who scored seven points in less than two minutes early in the final period to get the comeback started.
For China, Xu Nuo scored 11 points in only 14 minutes of action while Miao Lijie had 11 points.
"Generally you're going to get tight games in international basketball and we trailed for most of the game, but we showed great grit to overrun them in the end," said Australia coach Carrie Graf.
"I think our fitness was superior, our possession game, particularly in the last quarter was really good and we stopped throwing the ball away, which we were a disaster at in the first half.
"Value in possession in the second half, grit, and persistence in the second, got us over the line."
photos Janos Schmidt