Asian champions Japan produced a clinical performance to beat India 120-29 in their opening match of the FIBA Women's Olympic pre-qualifying tournament in Kuala Lumpur on Thursday.
Kiho Mayashita led the victors in scoring with 21 points while Stephy Nixon was India’s leading scorer with eight points.
A tough outing
The Japanese side asserted their superiority early in the contest and raced to a 9-0 lead. Nixon got India on the board with a two-point shot. However, Japan continued to pull away on the scoreboard and finished the quarter with another run of eight unanswered points to take a 32-8 lead at the end of the first quarter.
India crowded the paint and made it difficult for the opposition to get layups. But with no defenders on the perimeter, the Japanese team resorted to taking three-pointers and found success, adding to the frustration of Indian coach Zoran Visic and his side.
Substitute Sruthi Arvind ended India’s scoreless run in the second quarter, but the opposition continued to pile the points and took a 71-16 lead into the break.
India defended resolutely at the start of the third quarter and limited the Japanese team to just two points in the first couple of minutes. However, Miyashita’s three-point shot followed by a layup and a two-pointer got her team back on track.
Lost in transition
The Indian team struggled to stop the threes and were caught multiple times in transition over the next few minutes, as the Japanese side built a 70-point lead at the end of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter was pretty much identical to the previous three, as India mustered just four points through Nima Dolma Bhutia and Sathiya Senthil Kumar, while the 2020 Olympics hosts scored 25 and won the contest 120-29.