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31/07/2011
Australia v Brazil. 2011 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women, Finals. 31 July 2011

PUERTO MONTT (2011 FIBA U19 World Championship for Women) - Brazil got the better of Australia 70-67 in Sunday's third place game at the FIBA U19 World Championship for Women to take their first-ever medal in the tournament.

Damiris Dantas had 26 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Brazilians to their first appearance on the podium.

The game was closely with no less than 15 lead changes and eight ties.

Luis Cicecchetto's girls eventually sealed the win in the dying seconds.

Dantas made a lay-up with 2:34 remaining to put Brazil up 63-55, but Gretel Tippett scored inside a minute later and Rebecca Allen connected on a wing three to get Australia within 63-60 with 58 seconds to go.

Mariana Lambert secured the win by coolly sinking six free-throws in the final 38 seconds and baskets by Allen, Kerryn Harrington and Sara Blicavs were too little too late for Cheryl Chambers' side.

The Australians will feel hard done as the game's outcome might have been different had it not be for their 25 turnovers.

The Brazilians had struggles of their own, shooting just 16 of 28 from the free-throw line, with Dantas missing nine of her 15 attempts.

Both teams used the same strategy to start the game - feed the ball inside early and often.

They went back and forth and Australia led 10-8 as Tippett and Tayla Roberts teamed up to great effect in the paint.

Brazil answered right back with a 7-0 run capped off by Vanessa Goncalves for a 15-10 advantage.

Roberts accounted for the Gems' last six points of the period - including a buzzer-beating shot - that get them within 20-16.

Dantas put the Brazilians up 21-18 early in the second quarter, but Allen then spearheaded a 9-0 spurt for Australia's biggest lead of the night, 27-21.

However, that good work was undone by their turnovers - they had 14 in the first half alone - and their opponents were only too happy to make the most of the errors.

Isabela Ramona got a steal that resulted in a Dantas fastbreak basket for a 32-31 lead.

Allen got her team back in the ascendency 33-32 with 1:08 left before the break, before Dantas tied it from the charity stripe.

Australia grabbed an unexpected lead heading back to the locker room as Rebecca Cole hit a running floater that beat the quarter buzzer and made it 35-33.

Brazil were right back in front to start the third quarter as Carina Martins buried a three-pointer.

Allen answered with one of her own and, after Cole hit another runner in the lane, the team from Down Under was up 40-37.

Dantas and Carcavelli took over the scoring for Brazil, steering them back into the driver's seat.

Some good ball movement around the perimeter led to an open baseline jumper for the former for a 43-40 advantage and it was 48-42 when the latter buried a wing three-pointer in transition with 3:10 to play in the period.

Dantas made another shot and Ramona made one free-throw for their largest lead, 51-42.

The Australians held their cool and Blicavs' three-pointer got them within 51-45 heading into the final frame.

They kept on coming and after Cole fed Roberts for back-to-back fastbreak lay-ups, she made a pair of free-throws that tied the game at 53 with 6:20 left.

Turnovers once again turned the game back in Brazil's favour as Lambert scored five quick points and Dantas then beat the shotclock for a 7-0 run that put them up 60-53.

The Australians would get no closer than three the rest of the way.

Their fourth-place is their best finish in the tournament since a second place back in 1997.

Quotes

Damiris Dantas (Brazil):
"It is a dream, we worked very hard to be here and to win the bronze medal, and we are so very happy about it."

Luis Cicchetto (Brazil head coach): "Firstly I would like to congratulate Australia because they played very strongly and are very good players. We are very happy to have won the bronze medal, the first time as Brazilian team has won a medal."

"We are very happy, my players are a bit tired in this moment, we would have liked to have beaten the United States but we are very satisfied."

Rebecca Cole (Australia): "Obviously we are very disappointed, our goal here was to come and win a medal, but the girls did play very well, and I'm very proud of them all, we have come fourth and it’s the best Australia has done for a while. Hopefully the next group coming up can do even better."

Cheryl Chambers (Australia head coach): "We thought we gave Brazil a good battle today, and hopefully it was a good exhibition of female under 19 basketball that kept the crowd entertained. We’re certainly disappointed not to get a medal, but very proud of our players, they played very hard and determined."

"The Brazilian players certainly looked very happy jumping around on the court, and some of our players look very shattered."

FIBA

  
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