Home / 2008 Beijing Olympic Games / Basketball /  News Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read | Comment
New Zealand claims opening win in Olympic women's basketball
Adjust font size:

New Zealand overcame some early scare and strong comeback midway to sail through Mali 76-72 in the Group B opener of the Beijing Olympic women's basketball event on Saturday.

Mali captain Hamchetou Maiga had a chance to drag the game into extra time while trailing 74-72 with still 14 seconds left, but the tight New Zealand defense forced a turnover from her.

Having played in the Euroleague and WNBA, Maiga scored nine early points to help her team storm to a comfortable 13-6 start with seven minutes into the game, but the New Zealanders stayed cool to overtake the lead at 17-16 after a three-point shot from guard Angela Marino.

With 18-all into the second period, Maiga added four more points but it was the New Zealanders who impressed, finishing the first half with a solid 42-33.

However, New Zealand was in serious trouble at the start of the second half as their counterparts used a stunning 18-6 run to go up 51-48.

New Zealand came into the last quarter in front, 60-54, but Mali was again back into their gear and leveled the match at 64-64 after a three-point shot by Diana Gandega.

Thanks to two three-point drives from Kate McMeeken-Ruscoe, the Oceanian team stayed on course for a hard-fought opening victory.

Maiga led Mali on 18 points, and Djenebou Sissoko added 15. The Malian team committed 26 turnovers compared with 20 from New Zealand, who is making their third consecutive Olympics.

Marino led the game on 19 points. Lisa Wallbutton and Jillian Harmon had 13 and 12 each for New Zealand.

Mali will take on the Czech Republic in Group B preliminaries on Monday while New Zealand will play against Spain.

(Xinhua News Agency August 9, 2008)

Tools: Save | Print | E-mail | Most Read
Pet Name
China Archives
Related >>
- US basketball puts on more team work to prepare Olympics
- Belarus vs Australia in women's basketball preliminary Rnd group A
- China routs Mali in Olympic women's basketball warm-up
Most Viewed >>
- Chinese women's gymnastics team practises for Olympics
- Internet rights holders for Beijing 2008 Olympic Games
- Li Ning lights cauldron of Beijing Olympic Games
- Display of fireworks
- Countdown to Olympic opening ceremony

Product Directory
China Search
Country Search
Hot Buys