Breanna Stewart and the United States defeated Canada and advanced to the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup gold-medal game for the fourth consecutive tournament thanks to a strong defensive performance.
On Friday, Stewart scored 17 points, and the Americans jumped out to a quick lead to defeat Canada 83-43. The 43 points scored were the fewest ever in a World Cup semifinal game.
Alyssa Thomas, a forward for the United States, said, “Canada has been playing pretty well all tournament, so the goal was just to come out there and really contain them.” “We were really locked to our game plan from the start.”
For the gold, the Americans will compete against China, who defeated Australia 61-59 in the second semifinal.
The U.S. coach Cheryl Reeve stated, “Our goal was to win a gold medal, and we’re in position to do that.
By scoring the first 15 points of the game, the United States (7-0), which is setting tournament records for both points scored and margin of victory, quickly established control. The Canadians missed their first nine field goal attempts, and the Americans blocked every shot on defence. Stewart, Thomas, and A’ja Wilson essentially had unlimited offensive opportunities.
Thomas opined, “I think after that punch, it really took the air out of them.” ” They didn’t know what to do with their offence anymore after that.”
Nearly five minutes into the game, Laeticia Amihere, a South Carolina player under former U.S. coach Dawn Staley, eventually put Canada on the board with a driving layup.
The U.S. had a 27-7 advantage at the quarter’s finish. Four turnovers were made by Canada, matching the team’s total from their quarterfinal match against Puerto Rico, which was the fewest in a game in thirty years.
At the break, the Americans led 45-21, and they continued to widen their lead over the next 20 minutes. The 36-point victory over Spain in the 2010 World Cup was surpassed by the victory as the United States’ largest margin in the medal round.
For the first time since 1986, Canada (5-2) has moved to the medal round and has a chance to earn its first medal since taking home the bronze in that year.
Natalie Achonwa, the captain of Canada, said, “We didn’t get it done today, but what we’re going to do is take this with what we learned today and how we can turn it up tomorrow.” “It’s still a game for a medal, and it’s just as important for us .
Although the most recent matchup was in 2010, the United States has prevailed in seven of the eight World Cup encounters with Canada. Canada only managed to win once, in 1975.
The Americans won for the 29th time in a row during World Cup play; they haven’t dropped a game since the 2006 quarterfinal loss to Russia. From 1959 until 1986, the Soviet Union won the World Cup 56 times in a row, setting the record. Only twice in their illustrious history have the Americans advanced to four straight gold medal competitions. They won three times while doing it from 1979 to 1990.
With so many new players, the United States squad is on track to surpass many of its benchmarks, including scoring margin and points per contest. Without the 6-foot-8 Brittney Griner, the Americans still dominated the paint, outscoring their opponents 55-24 on average.
Amihere scored eight points to lead Canada.
The number of points scored by Canada was lower than the 53 against Russia in 2002 by South Korea.
In reference to the defensive effort, Wilson noted, “We’re starting to build that identity.” We’re quick and scrappy, and I think that’s our identity.
America scores 101 points each game on average. The team’s highest score ever entering the competition was 99.1, set in 1994.
Kahleah Copper didn’t participate since she hurt her left hip during the quarterfinal victory over Serbia. When driving to the basket, Copper landed awkwardly on her hip and needed assistance getting off the court. She plans to perform on Saturday. Betnijah Laney, who was hurt in the Serbia game as well, took the field for Canada.
On Saturday, Canada will face Australia for the bronze medal.
America plays China on Saturday for the gold medal.
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