When Canada last won a medal at the Women’s World Cup, none of the current players were even born. To win a medal for the first time since 1986, when they took bronze, the Canadians need just one more victory.
Canada cruised to a 79-60 quarterfinal win over Puerto Rico on Thursday behind 17 points from Kia Nurse and solid play all around from the Canadian squad.
Nurse remarked, “It’s very unique.” We’ve all felt the setbacks as we’ve worked on this together. Our inability to succeed in the quarterfinals has been a consistent weakness of ours, so if we can finally overcome it… To me, this is just the beginning of what we can do as basketball continues to gain popularity in youth programs around the country.
On Friday, the U.S. will be taking on a Serbian team that was beaten by a score of 88-55. France took on China, and Belgium took on host Australia in the other quarterfinals Thursday evening. Winning a quarterfinal and advancing to the semi-finals is always a top priority for us. Canada’s Bridget Carleton has stated their goal is to compete for medals.
As the first quarter came to a close, Canada (5-1) led Puerto Rico (4-4) 22-7. At halftime, the score was a whopping 44–23 in favor of the victors. Because of Nurse and the fact that Canada turned the ball over only four times, Puerto Rico was unable to make up any ground in the second half.
She suffered an ACL injury 11 months prior, and the World Cup was her first competitive event since returning to play. The match versus Puerto Rico was her finest of the tournament.
As a result of the loss, Puerto Rico’s historic run came to an end in the quarterfinals. The team hoped the historic run would help lift spirits on the island as it continues to rebuild after Hurricane Fiona.
Puerto Rico was led by Arella Guarantee, who scored 19 points. “The word legacy sums it up,” she remarked (2-4). It’s more important to leave something like that for the next generation than it is to win or lose.” Participating in the foundation of a lasting legacy is an honor. I know we’ll be back, and stronger than ever.
AMERICA 88, SERBIA 55
In the U.S. victory over Serbia, Alyssa Thomas contributed 13 points, 14 rebounds, and 7 assists.
U.S.A. (6-0) will face Canada, led by Kelsey Plum (17 points) and A’ja Wilson (15 points).
The Americans were unchallenged as they cruised through pool play, winning by an average of 46 points. However, Serbia (3-2) showed no fear and charged headfirst into the United States. As a result of the opening basket made by the Serbians, the Americans found themselves in a first-round deficit for the first time in the tournament.
The first 17 minutes were a back-and-forth affair with no significant run by the United States. With 2:59 remaining in the first half and the United States leading by five, Kahleah Copper drove to the hoop and was fouled. When she fell, she hit her hip, and the American trainers had to help her off the court. Copper, a sparkplug for the United States in her debut tournament, did not return.
After Cooper was taken out of the game, Plum came in and hit the two free throws to start a 12-0 run that would end the half with the Americans up 50-33. Serbia did not attempt to close the gap after intermission. The 14 points scored by Yvonne Anderson were the most by any Serbian player.