BUENOS AIRES, ARGENTINA (June 15, 2022) - The Canadian U18 Women’s National Team recorded its third victory in as many days on Wednesday, defeating host city Argentina in a dominant 89-55 decision at Estadio Obras Sanitarias in Buenos Aires, Argentina.
Canada was led by T’yana Todd’s game-high 17-point performance, while Marah Dykstra recorded a 13-point, 13-rebound double-double and Jasmine Bascoe finished with 12 points, six rebounds and four assists. Mary-Anna Asare added 13 points, while Fatima Diakhaté scored 11 points and Lemyah Hlyton dished seven assists. Emma Koabel finished with nine points and five assists.
“We came into the tournament like everyone else, focused on getting ourselves to the podium,” Team Canada head coach Steve Baur said. “Tonight was a great step for us. Our first progression, our goal was to win our pool. Argentina had a great start and I thought our response to their offence early and the crowd showed great character for us and great resilience. We shared the ball well. Both Lemyah and Emma had great assist numbers to show that the ball was moving and T’yana Todd continues to make shots for us. Moving forward now to our next step to qualify for worlds.”
After an extremely close first quarter, a three-pointer from Koabel gave Canada a three-point lead, 26-23, after the opening 10 minutes. Canada did not trail again.
“We talked a lot about this game,” Koabel said. “We prepared a lot. We came out slow, out of the gates, but as we went on we brought energy and we gave it to them and we wouldn't be stopped.”
Argentina was led by a 14-point performance from Angelina Giacone and 12 points and nine rebounds from Lara Tribouley in the loss as they shot 31 percent from the floor, but just 21 percent from three, shooting 4-for-19 from beyond the arc.
Canada shot 39 percent from the floor and 45 percent from three, where they connected on 14-of-31 attempts from deep. After going into the halftime break with a 14-point lead, it was Canada’s three-point shooting that broke the game open in the third. Canada outscored Argentina 29-9 in the third quarter as a series of three straight three-pointers from Koabel, Bascoe and Todd forced Argentina into a timeout with 5:56 remaining in the quarter as Canada’s lead swelled to 24 points.
As the threes continued to fall, players on Canada’s bench remained on their feet, encouraging their teammates.
“When our bench starts going crazy, you feel the energy run through you on the floor and you want to go crazy for them,” Koabel said. “I love shooting the ball, but another great feeling is getting your teammates open looks. When that ball goes in it's an even better feeling than when you hit it. I just love hitting my teammates for those open shots.”
Argentina's timeout did little to cool off the Canadians as Canada’s first bucket out of the timeout was another three from Bascoe off of a Koabel assist. A three from Todd off a Hylton assist was next, giving Canada a 70-41 lead. After a jump shot from Asare, Canada went into the fourth with a 79-45 lead.
The offence slowed down for both teams in the fourth as coaches tried out different lineups, but a three-pointer from Asare extended Canada’s lead to 86-48, the largest of the game, with 4:47 remaining. Each team scored 10 points in the final frame as Canada went on to its third victory in three days to finish a perfect 3-0 in the group phase of the tournament.
Canada finished with 25 assists on 29 field goals in Wednesday’s victory, another sign of the ball movement and team game that was played.
Thursday will be a rest day for all teams. Canada will next face El Salvador on Thursday, time to be determined.