Canada to play for bronze at FIBA Women’s Worlds after tough loss to U.S.

Canada's Bridget Carleton, left, and United States' Alyssa Thomas scramble for the ball during their semifinal game at the women's Basketball World Cup in Sydney, Australia, Friday, Sept. 30, 2022. (Rick Rycroft/AP)

Team Canada will play for bronze at the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup after suffering an 83-43 loss to the top-ranked United States in semifinal action on Friday in Australia.

Following the preliminary round of the tournament, the U.S. sat at the top of Group A, going 5-0 for 10 points. In Group B, Canada finished tied in the first-place spot with Australia — as both teams went 4-1 for a total of nine points.

Canada defeated Puerto Rico 79-60 while the U.S. took down Serbia 88-55 in the quarterfinals to advance.

The semifinal meeting however, saw Canada go up against their toughest competition to date — a United States squad that seemed to know exactly how to shut them down. 

The Canadians’ typically strong defence looked sloppier than usual, along with just about everything else they had done so well leading up to Friday. It became quite clear, quite early how much harder Canada would have to work for any offensive opportunities compared to their opponents. 

Struggling to score until the five-minute mark of the first quarter, Canada allowed the U.S. to get 15 unanswered points over them before finally responding with their first two-pointer of the game. After ten minutes of play, the U.S. led 27-7.

Canada appeared to enter the second quarter with much more confidence, finally putting up a bit of a challenge for the other team. With that being said, the United States continued their domination, extending their lead and going into the halftime break with a score of 45-21.  

The third and fourth quarters played out similarly, with Canada bringing the necessary energy but still failing to gain any kind of significant ground on the U.S. The Americans made it 67-29 to finish the third and ultimately secured their 40-point win over Canada after 40 minutes. 

Brenna Stewart was the U.S. team’s leading scorer with 17 points — 12 of which came from her four three-pointers on the night. A’Ja Wilson earned her first double-double of the tournament, recording 15 points and a team-leading 12 rebounds.

On the other side, Laeticia Amihere led offensively for Canada with eight points. 

The United States are the three-time defending champions, winning gold in five of the last six World Cups. Canada’s best results in the tournament’s history are two bronze medals, with the most recent won in 1986. The team hadn’t played for a medal since — until now.

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Canada’s chance to add a third bronze to their collection will also take place on Friday, at 11 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. PT on Sportsnet and SN Now. The Canadians will take on host Australia.

The U.S. will attempt to extend their championship streak to four consecutive World Cups, facing China on Saturday at 2 a.m. ET / 11 p.m. PT in the gold-medal game.

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