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Tall Ferns stun Czech Republic

NZ NewswireNZ Newswire 16/05/2016

The Tall Ferns have stunned the Czech Republic at a four-nation women's basketball tournament in China, beating the world's fifth-ranked side 72-64.

The 22nd-ranked Ferns led 39-30 at halftime and held off the Czech side in the second spell to claim a notable international scalp in Hengyang.

Toni Edmondson led the scoring with 16 points while Brigham Young University's Kalani Purcell contributed 13 points, 11 rebounds, four steals and two assists.

The win is the Tall Ferns' first at the tournament after a 84-24 mauling at the hands of world No.8 China in their opening game and a 71-61 loss to Montenegro.

The performance was just what coach Kennedy Kereama was looking for as they prepare for the Olympic qualifying tournament in France in June.

"That was a very satisfying win against a world powerhouse. We looked fresher, quicker and we had a number of people chipping in at both ends of the court.

"Now the challenge is to do what we did today consistently as we were still patchy in phases," he said.

Micaela Cocks chimed in with 13 points while forward Deena Franklin added 12 points and five rebounds in just 16 minutes before fouling out.

United States-based duo Stella Beck and Penina Davidson will join the side ahead of their next match against China on Thursday.

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