The Tall Ferns got their tour of China and Europe off to a shuddering start against the hosts in the Four Nations Tournament in Hengyang on Saturday night, outclassed 84-24.

The Chinese dominated proceedings from the outset beginning with a 16-0 run that the Tall Ferns never recovered from. The hosts led 41-13 at half-time based on stifling defence that caught the Fern's, playing their first game for ten months, off guard.

Cantabrian Toni Edmondson top scored with seven points and Harbour's Deena Franklin scored 6 on a night when the Tall Ferns connected with just 2 from 19 three-point attempts. Forward Lisa Wallbutton had 7 boards but her team was on the wrong end of a 50-33 rebounding count.

"We got smoked," was guard Jordan Hunter's short assessment of the game. She and her teammates will be back on the practice court before the game against Montenegro on Sunday. The game begins at 9.30pm local time.

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