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Canada basketball
Holly MacKenzie

Women's 3x3 Team goes undefeated in Day 1 action in Ulaanbaatar behind superstar effort from Michelle Plouffe

3X3 Women


Sep 16, 2023

Canada’s 3x3 Women’s National Team opened the FIBA 3x3 Women’s Series Ulaanbaatar Stop with a 3-0 performance in Day 1 action behind a superstar effort from Michelle Plouffe.

The top-ranked women’s 3x3 player in the world scored 26 points on Friday to lead all players, including 11 points and six rebounds in a 21-13 victory over Germany to close out the day undefeated.

With the score tied at eight points apiece at the 5:27 mark, Canada used a 6-0 run from sisters Michelle and Katherine Plouffe in the next minute of game time to take control, 14-8, with 4:24 remaining. After Germany’s Victoria Poros connected on a two-pointer to trim the lead to four, Paige Crozon responded with a bucket of her own.

When another layup for Poros brought Germany within three with 3:25 remaining, Michelle Plouffe went to work, drilling back-to-back two-pointers to give Canada the 20-13 lead. She ended the game with a layup, securing the 21-13 victory with 2:37 remaining on the clock.

Canada outrebounded Germany 13-6 in the win and connected on 13-of-25 field goals, compared to just 9-for-18 field goals for Germany.

Earlier in the day, Michelle Plouffe drilled a two-pointer with two seconds remaining to give Canada a 16-14 victory in a thriller against France. Michelle Plouffe finished with nine points and six rebounds while Katherine Plouffe added four points and eight rebounds as the two teams combined to shoot just 1-for-16 from beyond the arc, the lone two-pointer being Michelle Plouffe’s game-winner. 

The two teams battled throughout, neither wanting to give an inch to their opponent. A layup for France’s Hortense Limouzin tied the game at six points apiece at the midway point and France took a one-point lead on a drive from Laetitia Guapo, but Michelle Plouffe scored on a baseline fadeaway to tie the game at eight points apiece. 

Michelle Plouffe was fouled with 2:50 remaining. With France over the foul limit, she made both of her free throws to give Canada the 12-11 lead. After Guapo tied the game at the free throw line with 57.2 seconds remaining, Michelle Plouffe connected on the game’s lone two-pointer with two seconds remaining to help Canada secure the 16-14 victory.

Canada defeated host-team Mongolia 22-17 in a balanced team effort as Paige Crozon scored seven points, while Michelle Plouffe and Katherine Plouffe added six points apiece in the win.

Canada shot 11-for-16 from inside the arc and 4-for-8 from deep as Mongolia shot 6-of-12 inside the arc and 5-of-10 beyond the arc in a hot-shooting game for both teams to open Day 1 action.

“It was a great first game,” Michelle Plouffe said. “Obviously there’s a lot of points on the board. Mongolia can shoot, we know that. They’re a bunch of scorers. We knew we had to defend them, and try to put up more points. They’re a very fast team, they’re very physical and they can make a lot of shots so it was fun.”

After a two-point play for Michelle Plouffe extended Canada’s lead to three, 7-4, with 8:15 remaining, a two-pointer for Mongolia trimmed the lead down to a point until a free throw from Kacie Bosch and then a two-pointer for Crozon gave Canada a 10-6 lead with 6:46 remaining.

Back-to-back buckets from Katherine Plouffe kept the lead at four points with 5:50 remaining. Mongolia trimmed the lead to two, 12-10, after a two-pointer from Khulan Onolbaatar, but back-to-back shots from Michelle Plouffe and then a cutting Crozon scored on a layup to extend Canada’s advantage to five, 15-10, with 4:45 remaining. 

Crozon scored Canada’s final four points of the game, including the game-winning two-pointer to give Canada the 22-17 victory with 3:08 remaining on the clock.

Up next, Canada will play in the semifinals on Sunday, Sept. 17 at 4:00 a.m. ET / 1:00 a.m. PT against the winner of a quarter-final matchup between USA and Germany.