Day 1 Women: AUS 85 - NGR 73
ATHENS In the first game of the Womens Olympic Tournament (Helliniko Indoor Arena, Saturday 14 August), Lauren Jackson (AUS) showed some of her talent helping the Australian team dominate 85-73 over Nigeria.
The Seattle Storm center scored 27 points leading the Opals to their first win.
Phoenix Mercurys Penny Taylor (AUS) and Suzy Batkovic (AUS), who contributed 11 points a piece, followed Jackson.
Nigeria surprised the Opals at the beginning of the game taking a 4-8 lead, but the silver medallists of 2000 Sydney Olympic Games reacted and took control gaining a 20-13 lead to finish the first period with a 20-18 margin.
The second quarter was a pure domination by Australia, who entered the locker room with a 46-32 lead due to an incredible three-pointer by Kristi Harrower (AUS) at the buzzer.
The same scene continued during the third period, when the Opals had complete control of the game with a lead of 62-44, but when the last quarter started, it was obvious that Nigeria had saved some energy.
Mfon Udoka (NGR) scored 12 of her 24 points in the last 10 minutes, while Mactabene AMACHREE scored 10 of her 17 points in the fourth period helping their team get closer at 77-70, with two minutes to go.
Then Jackson took control and her crucial points assured Australias first win in the Olympic tournament.
The second game of day one, is between Korea and China (11.15 local time).
Lauren JACKSON (AUS) Centre/Forward
On her teams performance:
"We are satisfied with the result and not from our effort. We were a little bit stressed because this was the first game of the Olympic tournament. We didnt have good defence and we faced several problems in our offensive function, so we have to work hard in practice to improve."
On her teams expectations for the gold medal:
"Everybody has to step up if we want to accomplish our goal, to win the gold medal. With such a mediocre performance, we dont deserve to achieve our dreams. I repeat that we have to improve a lot, and work hard because the next game will be more difficult."
Trish FALLON (AUS) Forward
On the opening game:
"Even though everyone thought that we would have an easy morning, things didnt work out so well for us. As always, we had a lot of stress and things were more difficult than we expected. However, everything will settle down in the following games. We have to improve a lot in defence, especially in blocking."
Source: Athens News Service