29 August, 2015
05 September
5 Xiaojia CHEN (China)
Game Report
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China's late run sinks Chinese Taipei

WUHAN (2015 FIBA Asia Women's Championship) - China needed a strong finish to defeat Chinese Taipei, 76-62, to close Level I (Group A) Group Phase play at the 2015 FIBA Asia Women’s Championship.

Chinese Taipei played catch-up most of the way and still had a chance to steal the game in the fourth quarter, but the hosts were able to string together big buckets in the last five minutes to deflate their opponents' rally.

China didn't take good care of the ball in this game, coughing up 22 turnovers, 11 of which came from Chinese Taipei steals. Still, the home team survived thanks to good shooting. Coach Tom Maher's wards made nearly 50 percent of their field goals compared to Chinese Taipei's 42.3 percent shooting clip.

Chen Xiaojia bounced back from missing a bunch of free throws in China's previous game to lead them in scoring, with 17 points, grabbed 8 rebounds and dished out 3 assists. The 1.82m guard also sank 3 triples in a well-rounded effort. She was well seconded by three team-mates who also scored in double-figures, namely Shao Ting (15 points), Lu Wen (14 points), and Gao Song (12 points).

Chang Chi-Fang was the lone bright spot for coach Otis Hughley's squad, scoring 13 points on 6-of-11 shooting.

With this result, China finished second in Level I (Group A) and set a date with Korea in the Semi-Finals, while Chinese Taipei go on to face defending champions Japan.

Turning Point: Chinese Taipei last threatened on a lay-up by Chang Hsin-Ko with about 5:25 left in the game that cut China's lead to just six points, 66-60. Less than a minute after, though, Chen Xiaojia nailed a crucial three-pointer that pushed the cushion to 9 points. That ignited a 10-2 endgame run for the hosts that all but put the game to rest.

Stats Don't Lie: China maximised their size advantage in this joust, out-rebounding Chinese Taipei, 48-31, and outscoring them in the paint, 42-34. Six Chinese players collared 5 or more rebounds, led by Shao Ting, who hauled down 9 boards.

Game Hero: Surely Chen Xiaojia takes this as she led her team in scoring, and her huge three-point basket in the fourth quarter sparked their late game wind-up. This was a great way for her to recover after going 0-4 from the free throw line in their defeat to Japan last night.

The Bottom Line: This was just the kind of win the Chinese needed after the heartbreaker they experienced last night. This should raise their spirits and buoy their chances against the streaking Koreans in the Semi-Finals. Chinese Taipei, meanwhile, continue to reel after winning their first two assignments. They have lost their last three games, which is not a good sign for them heading into the next round.