Team Canada now has a record of three wins and zero losses at the 2022 FIBA Women’s World Cup. As a result, they have clinched one of the spots in the quarterfinals. On Sunday, Canada defeated Japan 70-56 from the Sydney Super Dome in Sydney, Australia.
It was an excellent first half for the Canadians as they jumped out to a 41-25 lead after 20 minutes and never looked back. The fact that Canada only limited Japan to 25 first-half points is a great example of the outstanding defense Canada has played in the tournament to date.
Three Canadians reached double figures in points. Minnesota Lynx guard Bridget Carleton of Chatham-Kent, Ontario scored 19 points to lead Canada. Meanwhile, Shay Colley of Halifax, Nova Scotia had 13 points, and Laeticia Amihere of Mississauga, Ontario had 10 points. Amihere, whose nickname is The Black Queen, is best known throughout the basketball world for a monster dunk she had this past season for the University of South Carolina Gamecocks of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Kayla Alexander of Milton, Ontario led Canada with 11 rebounds and Amihere led Canada with five assists.
Canada leads Group B. They play Australia on Monday and Mali on Tuesday. In Canada’s win over Japan, it was clear the Japanese were without the services of point guard Rui Machida, who led the women’s basketball tournament in assists per game (10.8) at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo in 2021, and was an instrumental force in guiding Japan to a silver medal. With the loss, Japan dropped to 1-2 and will be in touch to reach the quarterfinals.