For a team that only had six practices before the tournament, the Canadian women’s U19 squad is finding ways to win with a 79-71 victory over the Czech Republic at the FIBA U19 Women’s World Cup.
The Czechs were able to keep the game close through a complete team performance in the first half while Canada was still finding their footing. Valentyna Kadlecova had 15 points and four rebounds while Dominika Paurová had 16 points and 11 rebounds off the bench.
“We had a tough start, but we picked ourselves up towards the second half and we just played our game and played our style,” Shayeann Day-Wilson said.
Day-Wilson continued to showcase her three-level scoring ability with a variety of step-back threes, midrange jumpers and finishes at the rim that saw her go to the free-throw line 17 times on route to 31 points, seven assists and six rebounds. Once Day-Wilson got rolling the game opened up for the rest of her teammates leading to Washington State’s Tara Wallack chipping in 7 points and Aicha Dia adding 8 points.
Gonzaga’s Yvonne Ejim came through with another solid performance with 20 points and 10 rebounds.
Day-Wilson leads all scorers in the tournament through two games averaging 30 points a game with Ejim in fourth with 20 per game.
Canada fixed the rebounding woes that led to their 83-82 loss against Japan in the opening game by dominating the offensive glass, grabbing 28 offensive rebounds to the Czechs 18 and outrebounding them 63 to 48 overall. Izabella Zingaro added six rebounds off the bench and Isaline Alexander had eight.
“The efforts (Zingaro and Alexander) put forth rebounding and defending was just phenomenal.” said head coach Fabian McKenzie. “They were great team players for us, and it made a huge impact on the game.”
The Canadians have Monday off as the U19 World Cup takes a rest day but will return to action against Mali on Tuesday. Mali is coming off a 67-57 win over Japan led by 24 points and 19 rebounds from power forward Sika Kone.
“Mali is incredibly athletic, incredibly tough defensively. We’re going to have to go to battle and hope that what we do can take the win,” said McKenzie.
CAN VS. CZECH REPUBLIC BOXSCORE