Pirini, Dennis move into quarter finals
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Pirini, Dennis move into quarter finals

The Under 19 FIBA World Championships for Women is heating up, with the Australian team, featuring two WA players, moving into the quarter finals.

Mikayla Pirini (Willetton) and Maddy Dennis (Kalamunda) and the Gems team will now face off against China on Friday night at 6:30pm WA time.

Article from Basketball Australia

The Jayco Gems have powered past Mali 91-23 to move into a quarter-final clash against China at the 2015 FIBA U19 World Championship.

Trailing by just 11 points at quarter-time, Mali felt the full force of the Australian line-up in an 8-35 second term.

The domination continued after the main break, with Mali managing just three points in the second half to the Gems’ 33, resulting in a 68-point rout.

Coach Paul Goriss was pleased with his side’s execution.

"We allowed them to score ten points in the last five minutes of the first quarter which disappointed us [but] we held them to eight, one and two points in the last three quarters," he said.

"We wanted to get off to a good start and assert ourselves with our defence [and] we had a focus when we established the lead to be more efficient in our half court execution."

That restrictive defence held Mali to 0-18 shooting from the three-point line while Australia out-scored them by 30 from beyond the arc. 22 turnovers was still excessive but they atoned for those mistakes with 24 points off Mali’s errors.

Everyone on the Australian roster scored except for Mikayla Pirini, who still affected the scoreboard with four rebounds and six assists. Alanna Smith set the tone with 16 points, nine rebounds, two assists and four blocks while Alicia Froling’s 19 points was a game-high. Also reaching double figures were Chantel Horvat (14 points) and Alex Sharp (10).

Box scores from the game can be found here.

The Gems’ next opponent will be China at 8:30pm Friday night. China have lost just one game so far this tournament, to the USA in the group stage, and defeated Chinese Taipei by 26 points in the Round of 16.

Watch the full game against Mali via the FIBA YouTube channel.

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