The Australian Rollers suffered their first defeat of the 2014 IWBF World Wheelchair Basketball Championship, going down to the USA 67-57 in their final group stage game today in South Korea.
After a narrow victory over Turkey, the Rollers five-game winning streak to start the tournament came to an end, with a 15-4 second quarter ultimately proving the difference.
The Rollers’ tournament top scorer was at it again, with Shaun Norris posting a game-high 28 points to go with six rebounds in the 10-point defeat.
In what shapes as a potential medal round meeting, the two teams played out a high-scoring and entertaining first quarter as offenses dominated, giving the USA a slight 19-17 advantage.
The points kept flowing for the USA (15 points in the second period), but stopped for the Rollers with a combination of strong defensive pressure and poor shooting restricting the Australians to just four points – their lowest-scoring quarter of the tournament.
Defeat seemed inevitable as the Americans raced out of the blocks to start the second half, establishing a 19-point lead midway through the third quarter.
However, the Rollers began to peg back the deficit and went into the final period just five points down at 50-45 and in contention for a remarkable comeback.
The end of quarter break appeared to scupper the Rollers momentum and the USA were able to regroup and hold on to record a hard-fought victory.
The Rollers next 2014 IWBF World Wheelchair Basketball Championship challenge at the quarter final stage with the opponent to be confirmed.
CLICK HERE for the full schedule for the 2014 IWBF World Wheelchair Basketball Championship.
For all the latest information on the Rollers quest for back-to-back IWBF World Wheelchair Basketball Championship be sure to visit the BA website at basketball.net.au.
By Basketball Australia