Image courtesy of FIBA
The Junior Women’s National Team (JWNT) lost 79-64 to China in the opening game of the Eighth Final Round at the FIBA U19 World Championship for Women. With the loss, Canada falls to 2-2 in the tournament.
The first quarter started close, but China slowly chipped away at the Canadian side and took a 19-13 lead after the first frame. Team Canada could not find its rhythm and shot 6-of-20 from the floor in the opening 10 minutes. The Canadian effort was buoyed by the play of Emma Wolfram who missed the previous match against France, but China was still able to push the gap to double-digits and lead 37-27 at halftime.
China further focused their effort and scored 26 points in the third period while taking advantage of a few Canadian miscues as they assumed a 63-44 lead heading into the final frame. The fourth quarter was Canada’s best as they notched 20 points while holding China to 16, but the JWNT could not force a comeback.
Wolfram of Kamloops, B.C. led Canada with 14 points on 78 per cent shooting, while adding eight rebounds – including five on the offensive glass. Winnipeg, Manitoba’s Emily Potter finished with nine points, three rebounds and two blocks. Daneesha Provo and Jamie Weisner each contributed seven points on the day. The game’s statistics can be viewed here.
“We struggled today against China's numerous screens,” Wolfram said after the game. “At times there were things that worked and we have to continue to stick to our game plan. We need to re-group as a team, re-focus individually and not dwell on this loss. We need to learn from this game and come out strong and not let this affect us."
Head coach Scott Edwards commended the opposition on their play before focusing on the match as a development opportunity. "I would like to congratulate China on an excellent game. They shot the ball exceptionally well today. This is the best game we have seen them play in the tournament so far. From our perspective, this was a great learning experience that our team will grow from. We had outstanding contributions from a number of our players and lots of positive to take forward to the rest of the games."
The JWNT will play its second match of the Eighth Final Round on Tuesday afternoon at 1:15 p.m. (ET) against the United States.