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Australia dethrone China at FIBA U-18 Women's Asian C'ship; India finish eighth

Bengaluru, Sep 11 (IANS) Australia beat defending champions China 81-55 in the final of the FIBA U-18 Women’s Asian Championship here on Sunday.

In their first appearance in the tournament’s final, Australia shot 47.9% from the field and outperformed China 56-26 in rebounds.

Isla Juffermans led Australia with a double-double of 26 points and 15 rebounds. Dallas Loughridge and Nyadiew Puoch helped with 17 and 14 points, respectively.

Juffermans scored eight points to move Australia ahead 22-14 by the end of the first quarter.

Wang Jing scored five straight points to help China pull the game back 21-26 early in the second quarter, but Juffermans continued her scoring output by contributing eight of Australia’s 10 points to open the period.

Australia made the most of late 3-pointers from Sophie Burrows and Tess Heal to establish a 44-30 advantage at halftime.

China’s efforts to increase the game tempo after the interval failed to come to fruition, as they could not keep the Australian paint duo of Puoch and Juffermans at bay.

Australia expanded their lead to 20 points after Puoch’s layup and looked well on their way to the title with a 17-point margin in hand going into the final frame.

China went scoreless in the first three minutes of the fourth quarter, and Australia held firm to win the match.

China never led during the game. Wang Jing was the only Chinese player to reach double figures with 16 points.

Earlier on Sunday, Japan got past Chinese Taipei 77-45 to take the bronze.

South Korea were placed fifth in the final standings with New Zealand sixth and Indonesia seventh.

The Indian girls ended eighth and last in Division 1 after finishing fourth in Group A which also included Australia, South Korea, and New Zealand.

–IANS

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