The Senior Women’s National Team (SWNT) finished the Super Four International Tournament with a tight 56-53 victory over host-nation Brazil. The win gives Canada a 3-0 record to finish the competition in first place following victories over Argentina (65-55) and Puerto Rico (69-54).
The first half of the game featured strong defensive efforts on both sides of the court. Both teams locked-down on defence and allowed few opportunities to trickle through. The back-and-forth opening quarter played out with several ties and ended with Canada ahead by one at 11-10. The second continued in the same manner with both sides unable to build an offensive rhythm. The low-scoring affair saw Brazil lead 22-17 at halftime.
The SWNT came out in the third quarter and established its game. The team seemed to be just one step ahead of the Brazilian side; while Canada put together a slow and steady lead, the South Americans stayed on-pace. Canada pulled within one point in beginning the quarter on a 9-5 run, and then built up a slight edge, finishing the frame at 40-37. The fourth period remained close as both sides scored 16 points in the game’s final 10 minutes. A late push saw Brazil make a three-pointer in the final minute to pull within two points, but Team Canada held on for the victory.
East Preston, Nova Scotia’s Justine Colley continued her strong play in the tournament. Her team-leading 22 points on the day was the second-highest scoring output in the three-day competition. She made four three-pointers and added three rebounds and three steals. London, Ont. native Miranda Ayim contributed 13 points and tied Ajax, Ontario’s Kalisha Keane for the team-high in rebounds with five. Hamilton, Ont. product Kia Nurse also scored in double-digits and finished with 11. The game’s set of statistics are available here.
When asked about the match, Ayim commented that, “It was a great tough game, as it always is when playing Brazil. We grinded-out the match and got some key possessions towards the end. We worked together and really played as a team to get the win on their homecourt.”
Head coach Lisa Thomaidis added, “Today was a great team-win for us to defeat Brazil in Brazil. This is such a confidence-builder going into the FIBA Americas Championship. We had tremendous contributions from many different players. Miranda Ayim and Krysten Boogaard battled very hard against the Brazilian posts. Justine Colley had a great night at the offensive end. She and Kia Nurse formed a dynamic combination in our backcourt.”
The SWNT will now continue to train and practice in anticipation of next month’s FIBA Americas Championship for Women to be held in Xalapa, Mexico. The tournament runs from September 21 to 28. Canada opens the competition on September 22 against Jamaica.