CANADA DEFEATS NIGERIA TO FINISH 7TH AT FIBA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL WORLD CUP
TENERIFE, ESP (September 30, 2018) - Canada's Senior Women's National Team defeated Nigeria 73-72 on Sunday afternoon to finish 7th at the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2018.
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Kia Nurse finished the game with a team-high 17 points to go along with four rebounds and three assists. Miah-Marie Langlois added 14 points and three rebounds, while Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe had 10 points and six rebounds in the victory. Atonye Nyingifa had 17 points for Nigeria.
After Canada opened the scoring, Nigeria scored four consecutive for their only lead of the opening quarter. A 6-0 run for Canada midway through the first helped stretch their lead to 15-8. However, Nigeria managed to hang with the Canadians as the opening quarter finished with a modest 21-17 advantage for Canada.
Canada’s lead would deteriorate early in the second quarter as a 11-0 run by Nigeria gave them a 28-23 advantage midway through the frame. Despite Canada’s efforts, they were unable to close the gap and entered halftime trailing by five, 35-30.
Outscoring Nigeria 15-9 to open the third, a three-pointer from Langlois with 4:27 remaining in the quarter gave Canada back the lead, 45-44. However, Nigeria answered and carried a five-point advantage, 54-49, into the final quarter.
Before fouling out, Natalie Achonwa helped Canada retake he lead 62-61 midway through the fourth quarter. Thanks to some clutch free throw shooting, Canada was able to increase their lead to four points with 25.9 seconds to play. After Nigeria answered with a pair of their own, Langlois went 1-for-2 at the other end to give Canada a three point advantage. Nigeria knocked down a jumper with one second to play to close the gap to just one point but it wasn’t enough as Canada prevailed 73-72.
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“It hurts right now because we had those expectations, we were good enough to meet those expectations but we did fall short.” – Natalie Achonwa
“We’ll take what we can from this experience. When you look at how much we’ve improved from Rio to now, I thought there was significant improvement in a lot of our players. So now we need to make sure that happens again between now and 2020.”– Lisa Thomaidis