SENIOR WOMEN WRAP-UP FOUR NATIONS WITH A VICTORY
The Senior Women’s National Team (SWNT) finished the second phase of its summer competitive season with a 73-54 victory over Puerto Rico. The win wraps-up the Four Nations Women’s Basketball Tournament between Canada, the host-nation, Brazil and today’s opponent. Team Canada compiled a record of 4-2, including a 64-45 win over Puerto Rico.
The Puerto Rican side came out with energy looking to gain the upper hand in the contest. The SWNT seemed to be caught slightly off-guard and fell behind 18-12 after 10 minutes of play. The second quarter told a different tale as Team Canada came out ready to engage. The Canadians began executing on offence and it was Puerto Rico that could not find an answer. The Red and White outscored the opposition 26-10 to lead by 10 points at halftime.
Team Canada came out determined in the third quarter hoping to build on its strong second quarter. Hamilton Ont. native Kia Nurse stayed aggressive and kept-up the Canadian attack as Team Canada extended its lead to 17 after the third quarter. Looking to close-out the game in the final frame, Canada settled into a strong defensive rhythm. A more even 10 minutes saw Canada score 16 points while holding Puerto Rico to 14.
The SWNT was led by Nurse, who finished the match with a game-high of 17 points and eight rebounds. The guard’s speed and aggressive play drew 11 fouls and she converted on 9-of-14 attempts from the free-throw line. Brampton, Ontario’s Tamara Tatham added 11 points, while London, Ont. product Miranda Ayim posted a double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds. Mission, B.C. forward Kim Smith also gathered 10 rebounds to share the game-high on the day. The game’s statistics can be found here.
Head coach Lisa Thomaidis reflected on the match by saying, "After six games in eight days, I was really pleased with the effort our team put forth tonight. It was one of those games where we could never really get into a flow, but we had enough fire power and we did enough work on the defensive end to create some transition opportunities. I'm proud of the team and how far we've come from phase one to phase two. We're looking forward to a little bit of time off and then reconvening in August for our next phase of training."
When asked about the growth of the team, Nurse responded, “This phase was very good for us. We worked on a few areas of our game and got better as the tournament went on. We played some really great competition out here and we're looking forward to playing again in a couple of weeks.” The SWNT will gather again in August for its next phase of training in preparation for this September’s FIBA Americas Championship for Women in Mexico.