- Game Night
Perth Lynx stars Tessa Lavey and Nat Burton have helped the Australian women’s basketball team to a perfect 5-0 sweep of their group at the 2016 Rio Olympic Games.
After a 3-0 start, the Australians turned their attention to Japan and Belarus in a bid to claim the all-important first place in Group A.
The Aussies trailed by 16 points with just eight minutes remaining against Japan, before a furious comeback spurred the team to a 92-86 victory.
A 31-9 closing run saw Australia claim not only the victory but a stranglehold on top position in Group A, meaning their final group game against Belarus was a dead rubber for the Aussies.
Despite Australia’s final position being unaffected by the result, Perth Lynx captain Tessa Lavey delivered a true standout performance, sparking the team to overcome another deficit; this time to the tune of 13 points.
In 20 minutes of play, the dynamic point guard notched six assists and six rebounds (both Olympic personal bests for Lavey), while also recording one steal and connecting on a crucial three pointer that helped seal Australia’s 74-66 victory.
The excellent finish to the group stage saw Lavey’s Olympic totals climb to 14 points, 14 assists, 11 rebounds and three steals, with 37.5 percent shooting from beyond the arc.
Fellow Lynx Nat Burton continued her fine form, having started all five games for Australia, and has tallied four points, eight rebounds, five assists and two steals in her 81 minutes of Olympic action thus far.
Burton has played an important role as a member of a truly dominant front-court rotation, with the length and rebounding of the Australians proving to be an invaluable asset in crucial moments.
After finishing atop Group A, the Australian team progresses to the quarter-finals, where they will meet the fourth seed from Group B.
China, Serbia and Senegal will battle it out for the right to face Australia, with all games from here on in being played under knockout conditions.
While their opponent remains undetermined and tip-off time has yet to be confirmed, Australia will play their quarter-final game either on Tuesday evening or early Wednesday morning AWST, where Nat Burton, Tessa Lavey and the national women’s basketball team looking to inch ever closer to the gold medal.