The U19 Women’s National team could not come back from an early deficit and fall to Russia 65-41 in the Semi-Finals of the FIBA U19 Women’s Basketball World Cup. Canada’s story and tournament doesn’t end here, the girl’s will play for bronze tomorrow in search of their first-ever medal.
Hailey Brown led Canada with seven points and five rebounds. The Hamilton, ON native contributed all of her points in the first quarter. Sarah Donavon also added six points in the loss.
Canada fell behind to the FIBA 5th ranked team early and could never find a way back into the game.
Russia came out very strong and hit Canada hard. The European giants started firing and hitting their shots from deep early, finishing with nine made threes in the first half.
Much of Canada’s offence in the first half came through transition buckets, but when the other team is making shots consistently, it’s going to make it difficult to play in transition.
Brown was getting it done in the paint for Canada but unfortunately her efforts weren’t enough to close the gap before the end of the quarter. Canada fell behind 20-10 at the end of the first.
Russia’s hot shooting continued, hitting five three pointers in the second quarter. The Canadian women were just unable to keep up offensively or stop Russia on the other end.
The girls could not get into any kind of rhythm offensively with nothing dropping for them.
The size and strength of Russia gave Canada rebounding problems. Russia held a 43-17 lead at the half while also being +14 on the glass.
The third quarter saw Canada fighting despite their offensive game still not coming together.
Laeticia Amihere jumped into the passing lane to cut off a pass but as the athletic 16-year-old got in the air for the dunk, the ball slipped out of her hand.
— FIBA (@FIBA) July 29, 2017
Amihere’s defence became contagious as Alyssa Jerome was able to swat away a Russian shot attempt late in the quarter.
Going into the fourth down 56-24, Canada would be playing for pride but it was clear these girls were also playing for each other.
The young women are not only a team but they’re also a family. After every made shot in the fourth quarter the bench would get up and cheer as if they won the game.
Canada won the quarter 17-9 playing hard right until the final buzzer. A true showing of Canadian pride.
Canadian Basketball broadcaster Jason Thom, shows how building a family atmosphere is key to Canada’s success.
Hailey Brown: 7 points | 5 rebounds | 1 assist | 1 steal
Sarah Donavon: 6 points | 1 rebound | 1 assist | 1 steal
Shaina Pellington: 5 points | 2 rebounds | 1 assist
Angela Bongomin: 5 points | 3 rebounds
Alyssa Jerome: 5 points | 2 rebounds | 2 assists | 1 block
Laeticia Amihere: 8 rebounds | 4 points | 1 steal | 1 block
The U19 Women’s National team will be playing for bronze against Japan. Tip off is scheduled for 12:30 PM on Sunday, July 30 in Udine. A victory against Japan would give Canada their highest ever finish at the World Cup.
The USA defeated Japan 73-66 in the other Semi-Final.