BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA (June 17, 2022) - The Canadian U18 Women’s National Team defeated El Salvador 92-24 on Thursday to advance to the Semifinals at the FIBA U18 Women’s Americas Championship 2022 in Argentina. The victory also qualified Canada for the FIBA U19 Basketball World Cup 2023.
Canada was led by a 14-point, 12-rebound performance from Fatima Diakhaté, 12 points and 11 rebounds from Cheyenne Rowe, 14 points from Emma Koabel, and a 10-point effort from T’yana Todd. Diakhaté also had a game-high four steals and a block.
After trailing by four to start the game, a floater from Lemyah Hylton got Canada on the board and they just kept pushing. Canada used a 7-0 run to go ahead by three, and when Brazil tied the game at 12 points apiece with 3:41 remaining in the quarter, Canada closed the quarter on a 13-0 run to lead 25-12 after the opening 10 minutes.
Midway through the first quarter, during a timeout, Team Canada came together to give each other a group pep talk to turn the game around.
“We started off rough, but later on in the first quarter, the team got together and we decided we didn’t want to lose,” Diakhaté said.
Rowe echoed Diakhaté’s game assessment.
“After a while we picked it up, got together, had a group talk and we were able to pull through and get the win,” Rowe said. “We weren’t ready to lose. We were fully invested. We all had this goal from the beginning, since March. We were like, ‘Okay. One mindset. Let’s do this.’”
Canada took complete control of the game in the second quarter, opening on an 18-3 run to jump ahead 43-15 as El Salvador called timeout with 3:48 remaining in the half. After back-to-back steals from Diakhaté leading to buckets for Canada, the team went into the half ahead 47-15 after holding El Salvador to just three points in the quarter.
Canada shot 39 percent in the first half, while El Salvador shot just 21 percent. For the game, Canada finished shooting 35 percent from the floor. El Salvador struggled to score throughout, shooting just 17 percent and finishing with 10 made field goals.
It was El Salvador to score first in the second half as Gabriela Alfaro scored on a floater to make it 49-17 Canada. A three-pointer from Emma Koabel was Canada’s first bucket in the third quarter. A minute later, after getting fouled from beyond the arc, Koabel connected on three free throws and then 80 seconds later, Koabel completed the rare four-point play, hitting a three and then making the free throw to put Canada ahead 61-19 with 6:17 remaining in the third. Canada closed the quarter on a 22-4 run to go into the fourth in complete control leading 73-23.
Canada opened the fourth on a 13-0 run. From there, Canada won the fourth quarter 19-1 en route to victory. Canada turned the ball over just 10 times in the game, compared to 36 turnovers for El Salvador. The Canadians scored 40 points off of El Salvador’s miscues, and also outscored their opponent 24-0 in second chance points.
After a dominant quarterfinal win, Canada will now face either Colombia or Argentina on Saturday, June 18 in the semifinals time to be determined.