The Opals went up against the United States’ women’s basketball squad in a final game prior to the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Summer Olympic Games and found themselves on the short end of a 104 – 89 score.
The two squads played an exhibition game in New York’s Madison Square Garden on Sunday.
It was a dominant offensive performance by the American women, led by Diana Taurasi with 20 points, 15 of which came in a five-minute span in the third quarter. Up until that point, the game had been competitive and entertaining. Elena Delle Donne added 19 points for the Americans.
Opals coach Brendan Joyce came away with the conviction that his players gained valuable experience playing against the top-ranked team and could have a good opportunity to contest for the gold medal in Brazil.
The Opals are ranked number two in the world, yet they have lost 19 consecutive against the undisputed world champions.
The Aussie women have beaten other top teams in Canada and France and took the lead 17 – 11 in the first quarter and were down only six in the first half before the greater depth of the bench for the Americans wore the Opals down.
The Opals’ Liz Cambage was the game’s high scorer with 22 points. She added eight rebounds. Guard Lelani Mitchell scored 18 points and handed out three assists.