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New Zealand beats Australia 100-78

New Zealand beats Australia 100-78

New Zealand beat Australia 100-78 on Tuesday to secure the top Oceania ranking for the 2010 World Basketball Championships.
Australia won the first match 84-77 in Sydney on Sunday but New Zealand claimed the two-game series, and preferred seeding for the worlds in Turkey, on overall points differential.
New Zealand's 22-point margin Tuesday _ its largest-ever win over Australia _ outweighed a seven-point loss in Sydney and marked a coming of age for the unheralded young team.
"These guys deserve this win," New Zealand coach Nenad Vucinic said. "No-one gave us any credit, no-one respected us. They thought because some of our top players were gone we were no good but we had better wins than this in Europe this year."
New Zealand's Australian-based forward Mika Vukona led all scorers with 25 points and had nine rebounds.
Veteran Kirk Penney had 24 points after scoring 23 in the opening match Sunday and 7-foot-3 (2.2-meter) center Alex Pledger had 15.
New Zealand led 17-16 at the end of the first quarter but Australia rallied for 40-38 halftime lead.
New Zealand's victory was sealed in an extraordinary third quarter in which it outscored Australia 36-15 to lead 71-53 at the final break.
Australia was let down by its poor three-point shooting, missing its first 10 shots from outside and finishing with two from 12 from long range. New Zealand, in contrast, hit six of its first nine three point attempts.
Brad Newley was Australia's top-scorer with 20 points.


Updated : 2021-01-16 05:12 GMT+08:00