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Canada basketball
Holly MacKenzie

The Naismith Notes: Bridget Carleton signs with Spanish side Perfumerias Avenida

Bridget Carleton is headed to Spain. After returning home to Chatham following the Canadian Senior Women’s National Team’s fourth-place finish at the FIBA Basketball World Cup, Carleton signed with Perfumerias Avenida in Salamanca, Spain.

Prior to being named to the All-Star Five at the World Cup in Australia, Carleton played with the Minnesota Lynx in the WNBA this past season.

- Andrew Nembhard was ready. Facing LeBron James and the Los Angeles Lakers for the first time in his NBA career, the 22-year-old Aurora native drilled a game-winning three at the buzzer to help the Indiana Pacers complete a 17-point fourth-quarter comeback on the road and stun the Los Angeles home crowd.

After a three-point miss from Indiana, Tyrese Haliburton corralled the offensive rebound and found Nembhard open beyond the arc with less than a second remaining. Nembhard let his shot fly and watched as it sank cleanly through the net as time expired. Nembhard was mobbed by teammates in celebration as his fourth three-pointer of the game sealed the victory for Indiana.

Nembhard was selected 31st overall by the Pacers in the 2022 NBA Draft. After averaging 15.7 minutes per game in October, Nembhard moved into the starting lineup for the Pacers in November and saw his minutes jump to 25.1 per game. His numbers went up with the increased playing time. For the month of November, Nembhard is averaging 8.5 points per game on 50 percent shooting, including 46 percent shooting from deep.

Monday’s game against the Lakers was Nembhard’s first after a four-game absence with a knee injury. He finished with 12 points in the win, all from beyond the arc, while adding four rebounds, an assist, two blocked shots and a steal in 29 minutes.

- While Nembhard hit the game-winning shot, Bennedict Mathurin had 23 points and eight assists in the win, prompting veteran Myles Turner to heap praise upon the Canadian rookie duo.

“They don't really play like rookies,” Turner said. “They both have a high IQ for the game. They both have a love for the game and they work.”

- Canada had a pair of MVPs at the Phil Knight Legacy Tournament this past weekend. Aaliyah Edwards was named the women’s MVP after UConn defeated Iowa to win the tournament and Zach Edey was named the men’s MVP after leading Purdue past Duke to win the men’s tournament.

Edwards had 20 points and 13 rebounds in the final and averaged 18.5 points and 12 rebounds in the event en route to being named MVP. Edey finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds in Purdue’s 75-56 blowout victory over Duke in the championship game of the tournament. In Purdue’s first game of the tournament, Edey finished with 23 points, seven rebounds and three blocked shots in an 18-point victory over Gonzaga.

Edwards was also named the Big East Player of the Week on Monday.

- Shai Gilgeous-Alexander just keeps putting points on the board. The Oklahoma City Thunder guard has topped 30 points in his last five games and is averaging 31.1 points per game, trailing only Luka Doncic and Stephen Curry in league scoring. The 24 year-old has an NBA-best 15 games where he has scored at least 30 points in just 20 games played this season. Gilgeous-Alexander is also one of three players who have recorded a 10/5/5/3/3 game this season.

- Keishana Washington erupted for 33 points and 10 assists to lead Drexel over Lehigh last Tuesday. While this was the Pickering, Ontario native’s first collegiate double-double, she has been lighting up the scoreboard this season. In Drexel’s 66-61 victory over Maryland Eastern Shore, she poured in 37 points, seven rebounds, five assists and four steals. Washington is averaging 27.0 points this season.

- Jamal Murray had a season-high 31 points in just 25 minutes in a 129-113 Denver Nuggets victory over the Miami Heat on Monday. Murray shot 11-for-17 from the floor, includlng 4-for-8 from beyond the arc and 5-for-6 from the line while adding five assists a block and a steal in his third game back since missing time due to health and safety protocols. Though it’s been a long road back for Murray after missing all of last season due to ACL rehabilitation, he doesn’t think anyone should be surprised to see him go off.