A DOMINANT display from Australia women’s basketball captain Penny Taylor has led to a smashing 89-71 win against France at the Rio Olympics overnight.
Taylor was by far the best player on the court as she recorded 31 points, five rebounds and nine assists and showed her experience when it mattered.
Despite another quiet game from Trigg resident and starting forward Nat Burton, the Opals proved too strong for France.
France challenged Australia at times, drawing bad passes and mistakes but failed to make the Opals pay.
Australia started the match strongly with centre Liz Cambage scoring six points in the first two minutes.
The Opals continued to score heavily through Taylor but it was not enough to hold off a fast-scoring France from trailing 21-19 at quarter time.
France fell away in the second quarter, as Australia injected second-choice center Marianna Tolo into the game, who had a big impact on the scoreboard.
Cambage was subbed back on in the ending minutes of the first half and scored immediately through a nice assist from Rachel Jarry, handing Australia a 46-29 lead.
In an entertaining third quarter, France pushed Australia early to claw its way back into the match, however they could not stop Taylor’s dominance.
French power forward Endy Miyem and point guard Olivia Epoupa scored heavily in the third but their team were still behind 69-50 at the final change.
France’s comeback continued in the beginning of the final quarter, with Epoupa and Marielle Amant both converting shooting opportunities.
However, the Opals answered every question asked by the Frenchwomen and responded through Tolo and later Cambage to secure their third win in group A.
Australia’s best players were Taylor, Cambage and Tolo while France’s Epoupa, Miyem and Sandrine Gruda battled hard.
The Opals next play Japan on Friday, August 12 at 4.45am.