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One down, two to go for Opals

LIZ Cambage tonight steered Australia's Opals to an 86-68 win over Nigeria to open their FIBA Women's World Cup campaign in Tenerife, Spain, the officiating troubling.

Nigeria was allowed to play with excessive physicality but never could handle Cambage, who led from the front with 34 points, 12 rebounds and four blocks.

Jenna O'Hea, named Opals captain pregame, did not play, nursing a calf strain, but Australia started by hitting its first six shots to never be headed.

Cambage's 34 points came on 14-of-22 shooting and included 6-of-8 free throws when she easily could have been allotted twice that amount.

Nigeria won the third quarter 23-21 but Australia's 25 assists on its 33-of-65 shooting - including six apiece to Stephanie Talbot and Cayla George - to 11, showed up the difference in game styles.

The Opals back up next against their group's third seed, Argentina before the key intragroup match with Turkey.

That match with Argentina will be telecast live at 8pm AEST, 7.30pm in SA and NT.

AUSTRALIA OPALS 86 (Cambage 34, Allen 9, Magbegor, Madgen 8; Cambage 12 rebs; Talbot, George 6 assts) d NIGERIA 68 (Akhator 21, Kalu 15; Nyingifa 6 rebs; Amukamara 4 assts).

Sep 22

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