Edmonton (July 30, 2023) - For the second-straight year, Canada’s 3x3 Women’s National Team is the FIBA 3x3 Women’s Series Edmonton Stop winner. After a thrilling 16-14 overtime victory over China in the Final, Kacie Bosch, Paige Crozon, Katherine Plouffe and Michelle Plouffe closed out the weekend undefeated on home soil.
The series stop victory is the second of the season for Canada, who previously won in Poitiers, France this June.
Michelle Plouffe was named MVP of the stop and she was all but unstoppable in the final, finishing with 11 points to go with six rebounds and seven highlights. Katherine Plouffe added five points and eight rebounds while Crozon added six rebounds as Canada was relentless on the offensive glass, recording 11 offensive rebounds in the win.
A battle from start to finish, neither team led by more than two points until a drive from Yujie Chen moved China in front 13-11. Chen was fouled on the drive and because Canada was in the bonus, Chen made one of two free throws to put China in front by three, 14-11, with 1:04 remaining in regulation.
Katherine Plouffe scored to trim the deficit to two points with 45 seconds remaining, before a huge two from Michelle Plouffe tied the game at 14 points and forced overtime.
In the extra session, a two-point attempt from Michelle Plouffe was off the mark, but Crozon scrambled for the offensive rebound and found Plouffe again. Plouffe couldn’t connect, but she got her own offensive rebound and scored inside to make it 15-14, putting Canada in position to win on their next possession. After Kun Huang missed on a two-point attempt for China, Michelle Plouffe grabbed the rebound and found Katherine Plouffe for the game-winner.
Michelle Plouffe dominated in all areas in Edmonton, finishing the stop as the leader in points (35), highlights (24), key assists (12), and Top Player Value (37.6). The only main category she didn't finish in first place was rebounding where she was second (26), to sister Katherine (31). Katherine also finished second in Top Player Value (36.9), second in scoring (31), second in highlights (18) and third in key assists (9).
Prior to facing China, Canada defeated the USA 18-10 in the semifinals behind nine points, seven rebounds and five highlights from Katherine Plouffe, and six points, five rebounds and seven highlights from Michelle Plouffe.
Canada shot 16-for-20 from inside the arc compared to just 4-for-14 shooting for the USA as the Americans struggled to score against Canada’s defensive pressure. Offensively, Canada’s ball movement and passing were on a different level as the team recorded 12 key assists to just one for the Americans.
With things tied early, Crozon snapped the tie with a turnaround jumper and then Katherine Plouffe scored inside and followed that up with a block before scoring again on a drive.
Michelle Plouffe found a cutting Crozon under the basket for an easy lay-in and then it was Katherine Plouffe who found Crozon inside for another quick bucket as Canada led 10-5 at the halfway mark.
After a miss from Crozon, Bosch came flying in for the offensive rebound and found Crozon for the putback, extending Canada’s lead to six with four minutes to play. A pair of free throws for Alexis Peterson trimmed Canada’s lead to four with 3:22 remaining, but Michelle Plouffe went to work inside and then Crozon found a spinning Katherine Plouffe for a layup.
A reverse from Peterson brought the USA within six, but with less than a minute remaining, the USA ran out of time to try to cut into Canada’s lead.
In Canada’s first game of the day, they defeated Chile 20-9 behind a dominant 10-point performance from Crozon who was 4-for-8 from two-point range. Michelle Plouffe added five points, five rebounds and three highlights, while Katherine Plouffe scored five points as well.
With Canada holding a 10-6 lead midway through, Katherine Plouffe scored on back-to-back possessions and Crozon drilled a two to make it 14-7 Canada. After Michelle Plouffe connected on a corner two and Ziomara Morrison made a free throw, the score was 16-8 with under two minutes remaining. From there, Crozon drilled three straight two-pointers to close out the game and give Canada the victory with 51 seconds remaining on the clock.
Next up for Canada is the FIBA 3x3 Women’s Series Prague Stop, which is set for Aug. 4-5 in Czech Republic. The Women’s Series will make stops in Quebec City (Aug. 18-19) and Montreal (Sept. 2-3), before the 2023 season culminates with the Ulaanbaatar Final (Sept. 16-17) in Mongolia.