Opals’ loss to France in basketball World Cup caused by poor shooting and high pressure

The Opals were unable to start their 2022 FIBA ​​Women’s World Championship with a win, falling 70-57 to France last night in a game that showed the Opals — particularly on offense — have plenty to do have to compete against the best teams in the world.

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In the sold-out Sydney Superdome, with a capacity of 9,291, Australian fans were hoping to see an Opals win, but French superstar Gabby Williams had other ideas.

The stadium erupted when the legendary Lauren Jackson first checked in and the 41-year-old, who last played for Australia nine years ago, certainly gave Australia some good minutes in the first half and towards the end of the fourth quarter.

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Wearing a green and yellow Australia basketball outfit, Lauren Jackson carries a basketball.
Lauren Jackson provided the Opals with some solid minutes, but the team’s shooting problems were an issue throughout the game.(AP: Mark Baker)

Though the Opals stayed within striking distance of France through the first three quarters, it was Australia’s struggles on offense that ultimately dashed their hopes of a comeback win.

The Opals’ inability to catch shots meant their defense could only keep them afloat for so long, and eventually France overcame the lead when Williams sunk a dagger triple in the final two minutes to end with a game-high 23 points complete at efficient 67 points shooting from the field percent.

While Williams was economical, Australia was anything but. The Opals closed on just 26 percent of shots from field and a meager 21.7 percent from depth. Shooting numbers like that and a total of 57 points just isn’t enough at a World Cup.

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