Maker leads Australia past Tall Blacks in Asia Cup semi

Source: AAP

Boomers centre Thon Maker produced another powerful performance to lead Australia to a 85-76 FIBA Asia Cup basketball semi-final win over the Tall Blacks.

Thon Maker was a driving force in leading Australia past the Tall Blacks.

The Tall Blacks cut a 16-point Australia second quarter lead to two with just over three and a half minutes remaining after a four-point play from Kruz Perrott-Hunt.

Maker then hit a clutch three-pointer and two more treys from William McDowell-White slammed the door shut on the Tall Blacks.

Maker, who had a relatively quiet first half, finished with 18 points and nine rebounds.

He stopped another Tall Blacks run In the third quarter, when he scored seven points in 44 seconds, after New Zealand had slashed a 12-point Boomers lead to five late in the third quarter

Impressive McDowell-White scored 15, nailing four of seven three-point attempts.

Fellow guards Tyrese Proctor and Mitch McCarron each tallied 13 and forward Keanu Pinder 11.

The Boomers again struggled from the free throw line making just seven of 13 while New Zealand hit all seven of their attempts .

Although the Tall Blacks shaded the rebound count by two, Australia scored more second chance points by capitalising on their offensive boards.

New Zealand led 5-2 early but Australia asserted themselves as the opening quarter progressed and were up 23-19 after the quarter.

With Pinder making big plays at both ends and McCarron stepping up offensively, Australia were 12 up at halftime and led by a similar margin at three-quarter time.

Big men Jordan Hunt and Sam Timmins each scored 16 for New Zealand and guard Flynn Cameron contributed 15.