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Spain gain revenge on Tall Ferns

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 9/06/2016

Tall Ferns' Jordan Hunter © Getty Tall Ferns' Jordan Hunter The Tall Ferns have been brought back to earth with a thud, thumped 80-60 by Spain in Oviedo on Thursday.

After edging world No.3 Spain 54-52 on Wednesday, the 22nd-ranked New Zealanders started well but proved no match for the stung Spaniards.

The Tall Ferns landed five three-pointers in the opening quarter, headed by a Micaela Cocks brace.

Penina Davidson, Jordan Hunter and Stella Beck also converted from beyond the paint as the Kiwis trailed 20-17 at the first break.

But Spain's class told in the second spell as they went on 25-12 scoring run to lead 45-29 at half-time.

The Tall Ferns regathered in an even third quarter, a late Hunter triple cutting the margin to 17 points going into the last spell.

New Zealand were restricted to just 11 points in the quarter while Spain added 14 to increase their lead at the final whistle.

Coach Kereama Kennedy felt the scoreline didn't do justice to his team's effort.

"I thought the game was pretty similar to yesterday in terms of our scores, they just made more trips to the foul line and shot a better percentage than we did," he said.

The Tall Ferns focus now shifts towards the Olympic qualifying tournament starting in Nantes on Monday.

Five of the 12 teams will qualify for Rio, with New Zealand having to firstly negotiate a group comprising world No.4 France and 13th-ranked Cuba.

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