It might not have been the type of emphatic performance they were hoping for, but the Australian Boomers did enough to beat Senegal 81-68 on Tuesday night to make it two from two from the 2019 FIBA World Cup.
Coming off an impressive opening win against Canada 108-92 two days earlier, the Boomers backed up against Senegal in Dongguan on Tuesday evening up against an opponent looking to respond to a horror 54-point loss at the hands of Lithuania on Sunday.
From the outset on Tuesday, though, the Boomers had their work cut out to shake off Senegal and they never really did.
The Boomers led by just two points at quarter-time and only three heading into half-time. They pulled away a little further in the third term to be up 10 and then went on to win by 13 but Senegal deserve credit for their fighting performance.
Australia ended up shooting well at 29/53 at 55 per cent from the field and 9/23 at 39 per cent from deep and while they did have 36 rebounds, conceding 13 offensive boards to Senegal was a concern.
However, sharing the ball was a great strength of the Boomers as they had 28 assists on the 29 made field goals but 16 turnovers would have been too high for coach Andrej Lemanis’ liking.
FIBA WORLD CUP – GROUP PHASE
AUSTRALIA 81 (Patty Mills 22, Joe Ingles 17, Aron Baynes 12)
SENEGAL 68 (Xane Delmeida 14, Maurice Ndour 13, Youssoupha Ndoye 13)