HOW IT HAPPENED
- Canada got off to a quick start going on an 8-0 run in the first two minutes of play. However, Mali responded with their own 10-0 run in the next two minutes of play. With 5:54 left in the first quarter, Toby Fournier tied the game at 10 a piece.
- With 2:21 left in the first quarter, Cassandre Prosper made a layup to end Canada’s almost three-minute scoring drought and put the team up by three points. At the end of the first quarter, Canada led 18-13.
- Shortly into the second quarter, Mali went on a quick 4-0 run to cut Canada’s lead to four points and force a timeout. But the Canadians responded as Syla Swords hit a three to give them a seven-point lead.
- Canada maintained their lead throughout the rest of the quarter. With 2:11 left in the quarter, Prosper made a driving layup to give Canada a 12-point lead and force a Mali timeout.
- With 17 seconds left in the first half, Swords hit a three to put Canada up 44-30 at halftime.
- Canada started the third quarter off strong, continuing their double-digit dominance. At the 7:22 mark, Fournier grabbed the offensive rebound and made a layup to put 50 points on the board for Canada.
- With 5:34 left in the quarter, Canada led by 18 points. Yet Mali slowly closed the gap, and Canada's lead was eight points with a minute left in the third.
- Canada was leading 59-53 going into the fourth quarter. Quickly, Delaney Gibb hit a three-pointer to put Canada up by nine. Soon after, Swords hit a much-needed three to put Canada up by seven.
- Halfway through the fourth quarter, Canada’s lead shrunk from five to three points with 4:28 left. Prosper and Mary-Anna Asare scored back-to-back layups to put Canada up by seven points.
- Fournier scored a layup with 2:24 left in the game to put Canada up by double-digits, and Mali never responded, sealing another win for Team Canada.
- Fournier had a first-half double double where she had 12 points and 10 rebounds. She finished the game with 20 points, 23 rebounds and three blocks.
- Along with Fournier, Prosper and Swords had 20+ point games. Prosper finished with 22 points, 10 rebounds and five steals. Swords had 21 points and five rebounds. She shot 57 per cent from downtown.
- Canada shot 50 per cent from the three-point line, led by Swords and Gibb.
- “Down the stretch, we were focused on our process and trying to figure out what to do next to score and get a stop. That’s been our message all tournament. Just try to focus on the possession in front of us because that’s the only thing we can control.” – Head coach Carly Clarke on how the team remained calm during the tight game.
- “It’s nice to know that no one is carrying the team. It’s not one person, the pressure’s not on one person, and if we’re gonna win this, we’re gonna win this as a team and as a country together.” – Fournier on the impact of her teammates playing well.
- “Our staff’s been working really really hard all week, and at this point in the tournament, we’re pretty ready for [the challenge ahead]. Ultimately, it’s about rest, recovery and being the team that we’ve been all tournament.” – Clarke on how the team is preparing for the semi-final game.
- Fournier is the first Canadian to record a 20-point, 20-rebound double-double in the FIBA U19 Women’s Basketball World Cup.
- Canada is now 2-1 against Mali all-time in this tournament. The two last faced each other in 2021 when Mali took an 88-62 win over Canada.
- This is the first time Canada has advanced to the semi-finals since 2017.
- Canada will play Spain in Saturday's semifinals with tip-off scheduled for 3:00 pm ET / 12:00 pm PT. Fans can stream the game live on Sportsnet NOW.
- Canada will be looking for their first win over Spain in the country's history at the tournament. Spain has won the previous six meetings between the countries at the FIBA U19 Women's Basketball World Cup. The last time the two countries met was in 2013, when Spain emerged with an 80-62 win.
- Similarly to Canada, Spain sits undefeated through five games at the tournament and enters semifinal Saturday fresh off a 67-49 win over Lithuania. They finished atop Group A with a 3-0 record following victories over France, Australia and Argentina.