Natalie Taylor was outstanding for the New Zealand women’s basketball team as they beat Mozambique 76-63 after a surprisingly tough test today.
Taylor played 28 minutes of the quarter-final and contributed 25 points, including six three-pointers, and also made 8 rebounds.
She received strong support from Micaela Cocks, who was on court for 36 minutes and scored 19 points as well as making 6 rebounds.
Antonia Edmondson, who made seven rebounds, also put in a strong defensive effort.
After dominating the first three quarters and leading 60-41, New Zealand looked frazzled in the last quarter and lost it 22-19.
Nevertheless, they won their pool decisively and now meet Australia in the semi-finals on April 13.
Cocks said Mozambique played well and did not make it easy for New Zealand.
She said the team would be trying to keep their feet on the ground before the big match with Australia.
“I’ve been in this position before in a semi-final in the Commonwealth Games [at Melbourne 2006], but I was much younger then. I have a much bigger role to play this time around. It means everything to play for New Zealand.”
Kalani Purcell said against Australia, the team would really need to work on their turnovers. “They're a team who will capitalise on every mistake we make,” she said. “We can't let the pressure of Australia get to us, which is something that happened against Mozambique. We let them rattle us.”
The New Zealand men’s team learned today their semi-final on Saturday opponent will be Canada, who beat England comfortably 97-79 in their quarter-final.
The men finished their pool play with two wins and one defeat, to Australia.
In their final pool match they were too good for Canada, winning 82-60.
Thomas Abercrombie (17), Finn Delany (15) and Robert Loe (13) were the highest scorers. Abercrombie provided nine rebounds and was well supported by Jarrod Kenny, Alex Pledger, Mika Vukona and Delany with six each.Gold Coast 2018 Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games Micaela Cocks Natalie Taylor Kalani Purcell Thomas Abercrombie Finn Delany Rob Loe Jarrod Daniel Harold Kenny Alex Pledger Mika Vukona Basketball