CROCS AND SAPPHIRES ADVANCE TO FIBA U17 OCEANIA CHAMPS SEMI-FINALS

CROCS AND SAPPHIRES ADVANCE TO FIBA U17 OCEANIA CHAMPS SEMI-FINALS

Finishing the group stage of the FIBA Under-17 Oceania Championships unbeaten, the Australian Crocs and Sapphires have advanced to the Semi-Finals after each defeating Samoa this afternoon.

Sapphires vs. Samoa

Facing their toughest opponents of the Oceania Championships so far, the Sapphires were made to work early for their victory against Samoa.

While the Samoan front court had the size to match the Australian forwards, they were still disadvantaged by the Sapphires' superior height and Darcy Rees utilised that edge with two points, two assists and a block by quarter-time.

Madeline Puli (eight points, seven rebounds) also had a block and Miela Goodchild (21 points, six boards, six assists, four steals) continued to produce at the offensive end with eight points but Taylor Tamapua Muaulu drained a three for Samoa to trim the margin to 17 at quarter-time.

A more efficient second term opened up a sizable advantage for the Aussies as they put together a 31-8 quarter with Emma Clarke (19 points, nine rebounds), Isabelle Bourne (16 points, 11 boards) and Jessica McDowell-White (three points, ten rebounds, five assists) providing real options in the paint.

The Sapphires then started the second half with a 17-0 run and held their opponents to just three points for the third quarter to officially put the game to bed, eventually running out 111-27 victors.

Find the full stats here.

The Sapphires will now face the winner of New Caledonia and Guam today and will meet them in the Semi-Final at 1pm AEST on Friday. Stay tuned to Basketball Australia's social media channels for a link to a live-stream of that game.

Watch a replay of their game vs. Samoa below.

Crocs. vs Samoa

In similar fashion to the girls game, Samoa started well against the Crocs as they only trailed by two heading into the midway point of the first term.

As he has done all tournament, Kody Stattmann caught fire though and helped Australia close out the opening period with a 21-6 run.

He finished with a blistering 9-17 three-point shooting on his way to a Championship-high 38 points which he combined with five rebounds, four assists and seven steals.

Samson Froling (23 points, 15 rebounds, four steals, three blocks) took control of the glass in the second term and that coincided with Australia tightening their defence, holding Samoa to just eight points.

Tyler Robertson (17 points, six boards) joined Stattmann and Froling in double-digit scoring and as the second half got underway, Kyle Bowen (nine points, three steals) ensured every member of the side hit the scoreboard.

Australia kept up the pace as the match wore down, starting the final term on a 24-0 run and finishing with a 55-2 fourth quarter to win 142-34.

Find the full stats here.

The Crocs will now take on the winner of Guam vs. Tahiti in the Semi-Final at 7pm Friday night AEST. Stay tuned to Basketball Australia's social media channels for a link to a live-stream of that game.

Watch a replay of their game vs. Samoa below.

The Under-17 Australian Crocs and Sapphires Oceania Championships Schedule (all times AEST):

July 14: Sapphires Semi-Final at 1pm
Crocs Semi-Final at 7pm

July 15: Grand Finals

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