The Canadian U23 Women's National Team defeated the U.S. 85-60 on Saturday to advance to the gold medal game at the GLOBL Jam International Basketball showcase. With the victory, Canada moves on to face France on Sunday, July 10 at 3:30 P.M. ET.
Canada was led by an 18-point performance from Shy Day-Wilson who also finished with seven assists. Aaliyah Edwards stuffed the stat sheet with 10 points, nine rebounds, four assists and five steals and Merissah Russell added 13 points as Canada dominated in the semifinals at Mattamy Athletic Centre in Toronto, Ontario.
“I think we’re really gelling together as a team,” Day-Wilson said. “Everyone has their strengths, everybody has their weaknesses. We’re just playing team basketball and that’s a really good feeling.”
It’s been awhile since Day-Wilson has gotten the opportunity to show out at home. Getting to do so while wearing the red and white is an opportunity she doesn’t take for granted.
‘Man, it’s a good feeling,” she said. “It just feels really good to be back home playing in front of my fans and supporters, everything like that. I haven’t done that since like four years ago. It’s just a great feeling. It’s still surreal. I love every moment of it.”
The Virginia Commonwealth University squad representing Team U.S.A. at GLOBL Jam were led by a 29-point performance from Taya Robinson who scored 18 of her 29 in the first half.
Canada shot 43 percent from the floor compared to 34 percent shooting for the U.S., but it was their defensive pressure and work on the boards that overwhelmed the United States as the Canadians pulled away in the second and third quarters. Yvonne Ejim and Phillipina Kyei combined for eight blocked shots as Ejim finished with five blocked shots of her own in just 23 minutes.
After trailing by three at the end of the opening quarter, Canada outscored the U.S. 27-15 in the second to take a nine-point advantage at the half.
The third was all Canada as the Canadians outscored the U.S. 23-9 in the quarter. A 7-0 run put Canada ahead by 14 points with 7:16 remaining in the quarter and then an 8-2 run extended the advantage to 19 with 1:50 left in the quarter. After the third three-pointer from Day-Wilson, Canada led 69-46 after three.
Canada won the battle on the boards 57-30 and crushed the offensive glass 28-13. As a result, Canada outscored the U.S. 27-4 in second-chance points, and 19-5 in fast-break points.
After a three-pointer from Taya Hanson to open the fourth, Canada continued to roll. Prior to the game, Team Canada head coach Carly Clarke had spoken about the importance of closing out an opponent when holding a large lead. With their sights set on Sunday's championship final, Clarke's team definitely answered the call in Saturday's contest. The Canadians extended their advantage to 31 points after a layup from Te-Biasu with 4:34 remaining and easily closed out the semifinals victory from there.
For the second consecutive game, members of the Senior Women’s National Team were present and sitting baseline to cheer on the younger Canadian talent.
When Day-Wilson is finished representing Canada at GLOBL Jam, she will join her Duke teammates for training camp in advance of her sophomore season after being named the 2022 ACC Rookie of the Year. Though the 19-year-old hasn’t yet played for the Senior Women’s National Team, she’s already got her eyes on a future with the program.
“I’m ready for the next level,” she said. “I’m going to keep taking it step by step, and when that time comes, I’m going to be ready.”
While she’s focused and working toward what’s next, Day-Wilson also wants to serve as an example for the basketball players coming after her. With so much young talent represented at GLOBL Jam, she considers the event an inspiration as well as a reminder for the next generation of hoops talent to come through Canada.
“It’s motivation for all of the young ones growing up, like, ‘Okay you’ve got next,’ Day Wilson said. “‘Your time is coming soon.’”