Thursday, September 29, 2022

Canada made its first Women's Basketball World Cup semi-final in 36 years - now comes the hard part. CBC Sports

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Last night’s 79-60 win over Puerto Rico gave Canada their first trip to the semi-finals of the Women’s Basketball World Cup since 1986. To put that time in perspective, the ’86 tournament (then known as the World Championship for Women) was played in the Soviet Union and Canada’s current roster had yet to be born. The Canadians lost their semi-final to the reigning champions United States but defeated Czechoslovakia to win the bronze medal. Canada’s leading scorer in that game, Bev Smith, is now 62.

Leading for Canada last night was 26-year-old guard Kia Nurse, who scored a team-high 17 points (on 6-of-12 shooting) with four rebounds and a pair of assists. The tournament marks the first action for Canada’s most productive WNBA player since she tore an ACL nearly a year ago, causing her to miss the Phoenix Mercury’s entire season. Nurse has started all six Canada’s games and has seen a steady increase in her minutes with each outing, with the exception of a stunning victory over Mali in the group-stage final. His 17 points and 24 minutes last night were personal highs for both tournaments.

Four other Canadians scored in double digits against Puerto Rico, with 15 led by Bridget Carleton. The 25-year-old forward is Canada’s leading scorer for the WNBA’s Minnesota Lynx, averaging 14.8 points per game. Thirty-one-year-old Canadian center Kayla Alexander, who grabbed 13 boards versus Puerto Rico, is the tournament’s second leading rebounder with 11.7 per game.

Everything is clicking for Canada, who are 5-1 in their first tournament under new head coach Victor Lapena, the Spaniard hired to replace Lisa Thomadis as their fourth-ranked team last summer. Failed to progress beyond the group stage at the Olympics. Still No. 4, Canada’s only defeat at the World Cup was a narrow 75–72 decision against third-placed hosts Australia in the group stage.

look | Canada reached the semi-finals after beating Puerto Rico

Canada advances to FIBA ​​World Cup semi-finals as nurses, Carlton lead

The Canadian women’s basketball team defeated Puerto Rico 79–60 in the quarterfinals at the FIBA ​​Women’s Basketball World Cup. Kia Nurse added a team-high 17 points and Bridget Carlton added 15 points.

However, things are about to get real. Canada’s rival for Friday’s semifinal match at 3 a.m. ET is the United States — a Death Star squad whose entire 12-person roster is made up of WNBA players (Canada has three: Nurse, Carlton, and center Natalie Achonawa). . The Americans have WNBA MVP Aja Wilson, former MVP Brenna Stewart, this year’s Finals MVP Chelsea Gray, and most recently US Collegiate Player of the Year Sabrina Ionescu, plus a bunch more all-stars.

Last night’s 88-55 quarterfinal win over Serbia was the United States’ 28th consecutive World Cup win (they have not lost in the competition since 2006). By American standards, it was a really close game. They won their five group-stage “contests” averaging 46 points. In addition to winning the last three World Cups, the US is in the running to win seven consecutive Olympic gold medals.

To be blunt, Canada’s chances of beating the US are not good. The betting markets reflect the cold reality: Americans love 23.5 points, and moneyline prices mean Canada has just a 6 percent chance of winning the game.

The good news is that even if the Canadians lose, they will still have a chance to play for a medal. The third-place game is going to be a loser on Friday night at 11 p.m. ET between Australia and seventh-placed China. The final is Saturday at 2 p.m. ET. The winner of that sport earns a spot in the 2024 Olympics. Everyone else will have to go through a qualifying tournament. Read more about Canada’s quarterfinal win over Puerto Rico and see the highlights here,

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