CWNT COMES BACK FOR WIN OVER PUERTO RICO

The Cadette Women’s National Team (CWNT) improved to 2-0 at the 2013 FIBA Americas U16 Championship for Women after a tight 66-61 victory over Puerto Rico. Canada faced a much stiffer test on the second day of competition after defeating Venezuela 94-23 to begin the tournament.

Team Puerto Rico opened the game with a strong quarter. With their opponents playing hard and challenging every shot, Canada fell behind and finished the game’s first 10 minutes down 15-10. In the second, the Canadians battled back and found their scoring touch. Julia Chandler of Toronto, Ontario cued the comeback with three baskets from long-range and another three from inside the arc as Canada netted 27 points in the quarter while holding the opposition to 18.

The second half of the game mirrored the first as Puerto Rico started once again with a thorough defensive effort. Team Canada fought hard to mount an attack, but ran into the opposition at every turn. The fourth quarter opened with Canada behind 45-40, but the Red and White pushed back. Danielle Garven and Bridget Carleton, both from Ontario, played a vital role in the team’s late-game response as each notched eight points in the final 10 minutes.

“Today was a challenging game. Puerto Rico came out in a must-win scenario and they outworked us for much of the match. We had some players step up and make plays at key times. We kept our composure down the stretch and we were able to pull out the win,” said head coach Carly Clarke when reflecting on the team’s performance.

Chandler finished with a game-high 19 points, and Victoria, B.C. native Lauren Yearwood finished two points shy of a double-double while leading all rebounders with 12. Garven and Carleton finished with 13 points each in the contest. The game’s full statistics can be viewed here.

Carleton appreciated the victory and saw valuable lessons to be taken away from the evening. “It was a rough game at first, but we came out with the win. There was a lot to learn from and hopefully we'll come out better tomorrow.”

The CWNT closes out the preliminary round on Friday with a match against host-nation Mexico. The game is scheduled to begin at 9:00 p.m. (ET) and will be broadcast live online at fibaamericas.com.