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U15 Women's Round-up: New Zealand edge Samoa, Australia sweep first round
PAPUA NEW GUINEA (FIBAU15 Oceania Championship) - New Zealand barely escaped over a spirited Samoa side with a 65-63 victory to improve their record to a 2-1 win-loss card.
With NZL leading 64-60 with less than a minute left, Samoa's Tyla Paraha banked in a booming triple to cut the deficit to one, 63-64 with 39.2 seconds left.
Both teams had their chances at the free throw line but could not convert until Missy Niku split her charities with 9.7 seconds left to give New Zealand the go-ahead margin.
With the game on the line, Samoa had a chance to force overtime or win the game but ran out of time without taking a shot.
"We feel very fortunate to get the win as they outplayed us in the first and fourth quarter. We struggled to make free throws all game, if we made 65% it wouldn't have been as close," said NZL coach Natalie Visger.
"We struggled to maintain consistency on offense. However, we finished with a few clutch free throws and boards. I'm happy for our team; we showed resilience to finish with the win," she added.
Melika Samia paced New Zealand with 16 points and was backstopped by Zaaliyah Kailahi-Fulu's 13 point, 11-rebound double-double effort.
In a game of runs; Samoa opened the game with an 11-3 burst to take a commanding 22-9 lead at the end of the first quarter.
New Zealand closed the second quarter with a scintillating 18-4 blast to take a 38-33 to end the first half.
Tyla Paraha tallied 20 points to lead Samoa while Oriana Rose-Siamoa added 11 points.
Australia defeats Fiji, 141-15
The Sapphires dominated Fiji taking a 141-15 victory to improve their record to 3-0.
Australia's vaunted defense was their meal ticket anew, forcing Fiji to 49 turnovers.
Charliss Dunn paced Australia with 20 points while Zoe Crawford, Kate Deebie and team captain Paige Price added 18, 17 and 16 points respectively.
Australia will have a rest day tomorrow and will face New Zealand in the Final on Saturday (December 8).
Fiji dropped to 1-1 after a smashing debut over Papua New Guinea.
Samoa defeats Fiji, 82-48
Samoa quickly bounced back from their disheartening loss to New Zealand with an 82-48 win over Fiji in both team's second game of the day.
Tyle Paraha starred for Samoa with an all-around effort of 15 points, eight assists, and seven rebounds while Oraiana Rose-Saimoa and Charlize Lealiiee chipped in 13 points apiece.
Samoa's fluid offense proved to be too much for Fiji with a 17-2 advantage in the assists department.
Estelle Kainamoli paced the Fijians losing effort with 17 points while Moana Liebregts had a near double-double with nine points and nine rebounds.
Australia defeats Papua New Guinea, 155-18
Australia continued their dominant streak with a flawless 155-18 victory over host Papua New Guinea to sweep the first round.
Alana Goodchild led the Sapphires with 25 points with Charlise Dunn turning in a double-double performance of 18 points and ten rebounds while Luisa Fakalata and Zoe Crawford 14 points each.
Alice Kaiawa managed to score in double figures with 10 points, but the host nation has plummeted to a 0-3.