Canada remains undefeated at FIBA Women’s World Cup with 59-45 win over France
SYDNEY, Australia — Nirra Fields scored 17 points on Friday as Canada’s women’s basketball team remains undefeated at the FIBA Basketball World Cup after a 59-45 win over France.
Shay Colley added 11 points, while Kayla Alexander had nine points and 14 rebounds for the Canadians (2-0), who never trailed and led by a whopping 20 points.
Gabby Williams scored 13 points to top France.
Fourth-ranked Canada opened the World Cup with a 67-60 win over Serbia, while sixth-placed France upset their hosts and third-placed Australia 67-59.
Canada will face Japan (1-1), the reigning Olympic silver medalists, on Sunday. Japan crushed Mali 89-56 in their opener before dropping a 69-64 decision to Serbia.
Friday’s victory virtually secures a spot in the knockout round for the Canadians, as the top four teams from each group advance to the quarter-finals. Ranking high in the group will be key to avoiding the Americans.
Both teams struggled to score in a poor first half on Friday. The Canadians quickly took a six-point lead and led 15-9 going into the second quarter.
The Canadians regained their offensive momentum late in the half, finishing with a 9-0 streak in the 1:45 final punctuated by a Bridget Carleton three-pointer. Fields’ layup with 15 seconds left sent Canada into halftime with a 29-17 lead.
The Canadians started the second half with an 8-0 streak, capped by a three-point shot from Colley that put Canada into a 20-point lead. France closed the gap to 13 points late in the third quarter, but Fields’ layup gave Canada a 45-30 lead with one quarter to play.
The French came back to within 11 points at the end of the fourth quarter, but that was as close as they would get.
After Japan, the Canadians will face Australia on Monday and Mali on Tuesday to conclude the preliminary round.
This report from The Canadian Press was first published on September 23, 2022.
The Canadian Press