CANADA ADVANCES TO THE FIBA WOMEN’S AMERICUP FINALS AFTER TOUGH BATTLE WITH BRAZIL
SAN JUAN, PUERTO RICO (September 28, 2019) – Team Canada defeated Brazil 66-58 in a tough semifinal game on Saturday night to advance to Sunday’s FIBA Women's AmeriCup 2019 final.
With the victory, Canada will face now face USA tomorrow night at 8:00 PM ET, live on DAZN.
Click here for the box score.
Shay Colley led Canada in the win with a game-high 23 points and four rebounds. Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe was just shy of a double-double with nine points and 10 rebounds, while Bridget Carleton also scored nine points and finished with eight rebounds. Damiris Dantas of Brazil finished with a team-high 16 points.
From early on in the first quarter, it was evident that the matchup was not going to be an easy one for the Canadians against an experienced Brazilian team. While Canada led for much of the first quarter, Brazil remained close behind, not letting the deficit extend past four points. At the end of the first quarter, Canada led Brazil by a slim 15-11 margin.
After Brazil’s Erika De Souza split a pair of free throws, Carleton opened the scoring for Canada as her step-back jumper early in the second quarter gave the red and white a five-point advantage, 17-12. With 4:21 to play in the half and Canada leading by three, Brazil clamped down defensively, holding the Canadians scoreless for the remainder of the quarter and entered halftime with a two-point advantage, 28-26.
Early in the third quarter, back-to-back three pointers from Carleton kickstarted the Canadian offence and tied game at 32 apiece. Canada and Brazil continued to go back and forth, keeping the score between two points of each other much of the quarter. A late Brazilian turnover with time winding down in the third gave Canada a chance to take the lead, but Carleton’s layup attempt was blocked by De Souza and the quarter ended with Brazil leading 45-43.
In the fourth, it was Canada’s defensive intensity that translated into offence at the other end. Tied 53-53 midway through the fourth, Canada outscored Brazil 13-5 over the final 4:26, including a 8-0 run last in the game, to seal the victory.
Entering the tournament as two-time defending FIBA Women's AmeriCup champions, and guaranteed a medal on Sunday, Canada has now found a spot on the podium in eight of the last nine competitions dating back to the 2003 FIBA Americas Championship for Women in Culiacan, Mexico.
Canada has also qualified and will host one of two FIBA Women's Olympic Pre-Qualifying Tournaments 2019 for the Americas region. The Edmonton EXPO Centre’s Hall D Arena in Edmonton, Alberta will host the tournament in mid-November. Click here for additional information.
Click here for roster.
Team Canada will now face USA in the finals on Sunday, September 29 at 8:00 P.M. ET. Fans in Canada can catch the game streaming live on DAZN.
“The key for us to get the win was coming together on the defensive end. Brazil had great spurts so we just had to play defence and come in to help each other out. My coach and my teammates have a lot of confidence in me so it made me feel very confident out on the floor." – Shay Colley
“I thought we were able to get some defensive stops in the second half which enabled us to get out and run a little bit. We were so much better when we were able to push the pace and get out in transition. I thought we were much better offensively when we could do that. In the first half, we played much slower and too methodical. Brazil did enough to disrupt us. We had some open looks but just couldn’t knock them down. It was a real tough start to the game and I thought we were able get things going a little bit better in the second half." – Lisa Thomaidis