Basketball: Tall Ferns fall to China in Olympic pre-qualifying event

Yuan Li and Stella Beck in action.
Yuan Li and Stella Beck in action. Photo credit: Image: Photosport

The Tall Ferns have been outclassed in their second match of the pre-qualifying Olympic event in Auckland, losing 94-71 against China. 

China, who were upset by Korea in their opening match, made it their mission from the outset not to let the same happen to them against NZ.

The hosts struggled against the size of the world number eight side, falling to a 14-point deficit to trail 28-14 after the first quarter. 

China continued to take advantage of the Kiwis mistakes before halftime, extending their lead to 50-29 at the break. 

The second half was a lot closer, which will please the Tall Ferns, they drew the third quarter 19-19 and lost the final frame by just two, but the damage was already done. 

Chinese shooting guard Meng Li top-scored for the visitors with 18 points, and four assists.

For the Kiwis, captain Kalani Purcell led the way with a game-high 21 points in a night where the Ferns were made to pay for their defensive lapses. 

The Tall Ferns will need to beat Korea on Sunday night to have any hopes of reaching the Tokyo Olympics.