The score might not be entirely reflective of how close the Canadians are to the Americans on the world stage — because the Canadians didn’t play to the best of their abilities — but a 83-43 whopping at the hands of the American’s tells you all that you need to know about America’s dominance in the sport of women’s basketball in the year 2022.
Canada fell into a 15-0 hole to start the game and could never bounce back, looking a little jittery at the prospects of playing the vaunted Americans. While Kia Nurse said pregame that the Canadians needed to focus on themselves instead of being intimidated by the U.S.A., it was clear that the team didn’t get the message, because they didn’t play anywhere near their best basketball, losing the first quarter 27-7 and the third quarter 22-8, and never digging themselves out of those holes.
Still, give credit to the U.S.A. for not playing with their food. The Americans came out with a relentless energy that was combined with their lethal shotmaking and athleticism, and it stifled the Canadians at every turn, holding Canada to just 22 percent shooting while shooting 48 percent shooting to USA.
Breanna Stewart had 17 points to lead the Americans. Kelsey Plum had 14 points, and A’ja Wilson had 15 and 12 double-double.
“Congratulations to USA,” Team Canada head coach Víctor Lapeña said. “They played amazing from the beginning of the game. When you play against USA in the semifinal, it’s very clear you are perfect or they are going to break the game in 10, 15 minutes. I am very happy to have this kind of experience for my players, especially my young players, like Phillipina. Phillipina is 18 years old, so to give them this experience in the World Cup to play against against the USA, to have the feeling on the court, what [it] means to play against these amazing players, to get experience for the future [is great].”
Canada, for their part, played the second half of the game with a focus on the future, playing all 12 players at least 10 minutes and no one more than 22:31, giving their young players experience and keeping all their legs as fresh as possible for the bronze medal game the next day.
While 8 games in 10 days is no joke, Canada will matchup with hosts Australia in the bronze medal game, and the hosts should be even more tired considering they played the late game last night and it went to the wire in a heartbreaking 61-59 loss to China.
While Canada would have liked to pull of the fairy tail ending and won gold, they will be more than satisfied if they can beat Australia to win their first bronze in an international competition since 1986. While Australia won the group stage matchup 75-72 just a few days ago, Canada went toe-to-toe with them the entire game and could very well win in spite of the home court advantage that the Australians hold.
The bronze medal game vs. Australia goes on Friday, September 30th at 11pm EST.