The Canadians led for all but 1:59 seconds of the game, turning a five-point lead after the first quarter into a 19-point lead at the half, and then going into the fourth ahead by 29 points. In the final frame, the Canadians kept pushing on both ends of the floor, despite their advantage, exploding for 35 points in the quarter en route to the 48-point victory.
Ishan Sharma’s 16 points led a balanced scoring effort for Canada that saw four players finish in double figures. Christian Nitu scored 14 points, Stephen Osei added 13 points and Jaion Pitt added 10 points and eight rebounds. Olivier Rioux had 10 rebounds and four blocked shots in the win.
Hunter Trego had 14 points to lead New Zealand, while Nic Book added seven points, 12 rebounds and three blocked shots in the loss.
Canada shot 46 percent in the win, compared to just 25 percent shooting for New Zealand who connected on 4-of-26 three-point attempts, compared to just 2-of-23 attempts from long range for Canada. While Canada wasn’t connecting from outside, the Canadians outscored New Zealand 70-22 in the paint. Canada also finished with a 29-2 edge in points scored off turnovers as the Canadians had just nine turnovers in the game, compared to 27 for New Zealand.
There were only two lead changes in the game, as Canada quickly came back after New Zealand took an early three-point lead in the first quarter. Nitu connected on back-to-back jumpers to extend Canada’s lead to five points after the opening 10 minutes of the game, and then Canada opened the second quarter on a 9-2 run to take control. The Canadians held New Zealand to just eight points in the second, winning the quarter 22-8 as they led 37-18 at the halftime break.
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Canada continued to build its lead in the third, scoring the first nine points of the second half. Osei scored six straight points himself as Canada led 52-23 midway through the quarter and 59-30 after three.
New Zealand’s first points in the final quarter didn’t come until the 6:11 mark as Canada scored the first 13 points of the fourth. Char Yeiy went on a 7-0 run of his own to open the quarter. After a pair of free throws and then a turnaround jumper for Sharma extended Canada’s lead to 40 points with seven minutes remaining and Canada rolled to the victory from there.
Up next for Canada is a meeting with France on Sunday, July 3 at 9:45 a.m. ET, live on FIBA YouTube.