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Corey Webster's 33 points not enough as improved Tall Blacks pipped in overtime by Canada


The Tall Blacks bounced back from a 34-point drubbing the night before to fall just short in overtime in last night's World Cup warm-up rematch with Canada in Sydney.

Corey Webster drives to the basket against Canada. Source: 1 NEWS

After losing 122-88 on Tuesday night through weak defence and poor shooting, the Tall Blacks came out and put on a more physical front before eventually falling 103-100 to NBA-winning coach Nick Nurse and his squad.

The improved performance was spearheaded by an impressive game-high 33 points from Corey Webster, who went six-from-14 from behind the arc and also added five rebounds and five assists.

Webster was supported by another strong performance by Ethan Rusbatch, who added 15 points off the bench while Rob Loe also contributed 12 points and seven boards.

The Tall Blacks jumped out to a 23-13 lead in the opening quarter on the back of a pair of three-pointers from Loe but the Canadians picked up the intensity in the second half.

With a focus on grabbing offensive rebounds for extra shot attempts, Canada clawed their way back to a 36-33 halftime deficit.

After an 8-0 run in the third from Canada, it was the Tall Blacks' turn to play catch up and Finn Delany, who finished with eight points on three-for-four shooting, sparked it to see the Kiwis behind by just one point heading in to the final quarter.

Canada raced out to a 71-61 lead in the final quarter but the Tall Blacks kept their composure and made their way back into the contest before Webster sent the match to overtime with an impressive three-point play.

Webster drove to the rim with 13 seconds remaining and was fouled but managed to get his shot off. The ball went in and Webster converted the and-one to lock the scores at 81-81.

Canada jumped out to another 10 point lead in overtime but Webster went on another scoring spree to get the game back to within one possession, but the Tall Blacks' efforts came up just short.

Still, Webster believes it was a performance the team could be pleased with.

"The first game we were embarrassed by our performance," Webster said after the match.

"We didn't play Tall Blacks basketball. We came in here right from the start and let them know that first game wasn't us.

"I'm proud of the boys how they came out in a bounce-back game. We still didn't get the result but we did a whole lot of things much, much better."

The Tall Blacks now head to China for a pre-World Cup tournament where they will face off against Italy, Serbia and France before the real event kicks off next month.