HAMAMATSU (FIBA World Championship) – Australia hammered Qatar 93-46 to bring a halt to a three-game losing streak and keep their hopes alive for a place in the last 16 of the FIBA World Championship.
Mark Worthington scored 17 points and captain Jason Smith had 16 as Australia broke open a close game in the second quarter and cruised to victory.
Leading just 18-16 at the end of the first quarter, the Boomers went on an 8-0 run to start to second period but still only held a 41-30 advantage at half-time.
Brian Goorjian's team scored the first 17 points of the third quarter for a 57-30 lead and they marched to victory.
Australia won their first game in Group C against Brazil but then blew a 14-point half-time lead against Turkey and lost, and following that with a last-second defeat to Greece before getting mauled by Lithuania.
The Aussies now need Lithuania to beat Brazil, which would put the Boomers into the eight-finals as Group C's fourth placed team.
"It was a real important game for us, the way we played today and how we finished the tournament," said Australia coach Brian Goorjian.
"We didn't want to leave the tournament knowing we didn't recover from the loss to Greece. Today was about playing hard and playing the defensive end of the floor.
"We felt they were dangerous after their game against Turkey.
Qatar had lost only 76-69 to Turkey on Wednesday.
"We've got our fingers crossed for Lithuania," Goorjian added.
Qatar had the slimmest of chances to qualify for the eight-finals because despite losing each of their four games, a win over the Aussies and a defeat for Brazil against Lithuania would have left all three teams with a single victory.
The large margin of defeat to Brazil (97-66) for Qatar effectively killed off their chances, however.
Qatar coach Joey Stiebing said: "Congratulations to the coach of the Australian team. They showed how a team is supposed to play. I'm disappointed in my guys. I thought they had more heart and desire."
By Jeff Taylor