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Canada basketball
Holly MacKenzie

Canada defeats Uruguay 84-78 to even record at FIBA AmeriCup 2022


RECIFE, Brazil (Sept. 3, 2022) - The Canadian Senior Men’s National Team defeated Uruguay 84-78 on Saturday. It was a bounce-back win for the Canadians who fell to Brazil on Friday.

After trailing by seven to start the fourth, Canada won the final quarter 30-17 as Dalano Banton scored eight of his 16 points and Kadre Gray added seven of his 13 points in the quarter.

Canada was led by a 23-point performance from Jahvon Henry-Blair as well as a 16-point, five-rebound, six-assist performance from Dalano Banton and 13 points from Kadre Gray as they held on to win after trailing by as many as 10 points in the final quarter in a game that had 10 lead changes.

Joaquin Rodriguez had 21 points and Estaban Batista added 16 points for Uruguay in the loss.

After a three-pointer from Uruguay’s Gonzalo Iglesias extended Uruguay’s lead to double figures for the first time, Canada responded with a 7-0 run to get back within three points with 7:14 remaining. Rodriguez and Henry-Blair traded three-pointers, and then a free throw, followed by a layup from Banton tied the game at 69 points with 5:41 remaining.

A minute later, Banton made one of two free throws to give Canada the one-point advantage as Uruguay called timeout with 4:29 remaining. Luciano Parodi connected on a three out of the timeout to put Uruguay back in front by two, but Gray responded with a quick two that tied the game at 72. After a miss from Banton from three, Trae Bell-Haynes grabbed an offensive rebound and Gray hit a stepback jumper, this one putting Canada in front by two with 2:55 remaining.

Bell-Haynes was huge down the stretch. Whether it was grabbing offensive rebounds to earn extra possessions, or calmly sinking huge free throws to maintain Canada’s lead, he was there.

After a layup from Batista tied the game again, Gray drilled a three to make it 77-74 Canada with 2:05 to go. After a steal for Young, Bell-Haynes drove to the rim and was fouled. Bell-Haynes made both free throws and Canada led 79-74 with 37 seconds remaining as Uruguay called timeout.

With both teams making a pair of free throws out of the timeout, Canada still held a five-point lead with 24 seconds remaining. Rodriguez scored on a layup for Uruguay, but free throws from Young and Banton in the final seconds sealed the victory for Canada.

Canada shot 46 percent to Uruguay’s 51 percent from the floor, but were 12-for-31 from beyond the arc while Uruguay was 8-for-22 from deep. Canada outrebounded Uruguay 32-26, including 11-6 on the offensive glass.

Uruguay held a narrow two-point lead at the end of the opening 10 minutes after a close first quarter. The teams traded turnovers to start the second quarter until Devonte Bandoo scored inside to tie the game at 19 points apiece. A three-pointer from Bandoo gave Canada a one-point lead, 24-23, with 7:59 remaining in the half. A gorgeous pass from Dalano Banton to Thomas Kennedy resulted in a layup and tied the game again at 26.

Canada took a three-point lead after a three from Henry-Blair with three minutes remaining in the half, but Uruguay responded as Joaquin Osimani stole the ball and went in for a layup to trim the advantage to a point. With the game tied at 35 points apiece, Canada closed the final 1:51 of the half with a 7-2 run to take a 42-37 lead into the break.

The teams traded three-pointers to open the second half, but then Uruguay reeled off eight straight points to take a three-point lead, 48-45 with eight minutes remaining in the quarter. A deep pull-up three-pointer from Rodriguez extended Uruguay’s lead to six points, but a personal 5-0 run from Henry-Blair got Canada back within a point, 55-54, with 2:10 to go in the quarter. In a reverse of the end of the first half, Uruguay closed out the third quarter on a 6-0 run to go into the fourth leading 61-54 after holding Canada to just 12 points in the third.

Up next for Canada is a meeting with Colombia on Monday, Sept. 5 at 10:10 a.m. ET.