Wuhan (China): India suffered their third consecutive loss as they were thrashed by China 39-102 in a Group A match of the 26th Asian Women's Basketball Championship here on Monday.
Even though veteran guard and captain Anitha Paul Durai returned to action, India's starting woes continued as they allowed China to take 18-0 lead in the first five minutes.
The first quarter saw only two buckets from India and ended with China sitting on a 29-4 lead.
In the second quarter, India showed signs of improvement, restricting China to 18 points and scoring 11 points of their own.
But with a 47-15 lead entering the second half, India needed a strong comeback to claw their way back in the game. That didn't happen and China continued to build on their lead and finished with an easy 102-39 victory.
With this, 2013 edition bronze medallists China registered third victory in a row.
China outplayed India in almost all departments. Their shooting percentage from the field was close to 43 percent compared to India's 26.6 percent shooting percentage.
Interestingly, India's turnover rate improved dramatically in this game. After turning the ball over more than 30 times in each of their first two games, India took better care of the ball with only 18 turnovers.
However, their poor shooting and lack of rebounding presence hurt them. China asserted their class in the paint, outrebounding India 65 to 37 and scoring almost half of their points from the paint-area.
China's 6-foot-3-inch centre Song Gao led the way with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Their huge leads throughout the game allowed China to showcase their bench depth, with 59 points contributed by bench players.
For India, in addition to the lower number of turnovers, another positive was the offense of Kerala players Poojamol Subhashmon and Jeena Skaria, who both ended up in double digits, scoring 10 points each. Skaria was also India's leading rebounder with seven boards.
India's next game is against Thailand on Tuesday.
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