The new-look Team USA squad, featuring eight players who have never appeared in a World Cup before, continued their domination of the FIBA World Cup with an 83-43 win over Team Canada. With this W, Team USA not only advanced to the World Cup Championship but they:
Extended, the USA record for most consecutive games, won to 29Became the first team to hold an opponent under 50 points in a World Cup semifinal gameRecorded the largest margin of victory (40 points) in a World Cup semifinal game with 40 points
While Canada was No. 4 in the FIBA world rankings, they quickly became another victim of Team USA’s onslaught in the Cup this year.
Following their sub-par performance against Serbia on Thursday – when they trailed in the first and second quarters for the first time during the tournament – Team USA’s starters came out with a chip on their shoulder. A’ja Wilson, Breanna Stewart, Jewel Lloyd, Chelsea Gray, and Alyssa Thomas began the game on a 15-0 tear, holding Canada to only seven points In the first quarter.
“I think that we weren’t happy with the way that we started yesterday against Serbia,” Breanna Stewart said per ESPN. “There were moments that we played well, but there were a lot of moments that we didn’t, and really making sure that that was the point of emphasis today. It was the way that we started the game, especially with our starters, that five, we wanted to make sure that we set the tone for the entire game.”
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Team USA followed the starter’s lead, doubled down on their defensive focus, and held Canada to an eight-point third quarter and 22 percent shooting from the field. The explosive trio of Stewart (17 points), A’ja Wilson (15 points, 12 rebounds), and Kelsey Plum (14 points) outscored Canada 46-43 by themselves.
“I was really pleased with our team’s attention to detail in the scouting report. Canada’s had a terrific tournament,” Coach Cheryl Reeve said. “I wanted them to make sure they understood what they just did and how hard they made it for Canada to score the ball…that was a quality win for us. Our goal is to win a gold medal, and we’re in position to do that.”
The women’s national team will compete for a gold medal Saturday at 2 a.m. ET against China. Team USA won their group play battle with China, 77-63. They are seeking their fourth consecutive World Cup championship.
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