Canada is off to the finals of the FIBA U18 Women’s Americas Championship with a 78-63 win in a rematch with Argentina.
The game was tougher than the score line would show at times for Canada. Every member of Argentina’s starting lineup, outside of Alma Bourgarel who had three quick assists, got in on the early scoring, but Skylar Forbes kept Canada in the game with eight points in the first quarter.
Fatima Diakhaté, who had seven points and five rebounds, also contributed to the early lead while enjoying a noticeable size advantage in the post against Argentina’s Julia Fernandez and Lara Tribouley.
Argentina responded to Canada’s first run to pull the game back to near even, but Jasmine Bascoe came in off the bench and scored seven of her nine points, and Emma Koabel contributed another five points to make it a 29-16 Canada lead after one quarter.
The game slowed down after a short break with Argentina searching for fouls and ways into the paint which allowed them to briefly keep Canada out of a rhythm offensively, but Fatima Diakhate went back to work down low, and the Canadians began to find success around the attention she commanded in the low post. T’yana Todd hit two threes, and scored seven points giving Canada a 44-25 lead at halftime.
Todd led all scorers with 14 points, and Mary-Anna Asare had 13 points, matching her previous best in the first matchup.
Argentina came out of the break at half shooting, behind Violeta Maggi’s 11 points and six rebounds and was able to keep pace with Canada throughout the third quarter but couldn’t string together the defensive stands needed to go on a run to cut into the Canada’s lead despite outscoring them 22-19 in the quarter.
With the home crowd solidly behind them, Argentina went on a run to start the fourth to cut the lead down to 15 by creating havoc defensively and forcing several turnovers. The eight-point run began to lose momentum midway through the final frame as Canada dug in on defence and cut down on turnovers.
The classic matchup with the United States of America now awaits Canada in the finals. America has been consistently impressive throughout the tournament and are one of the few teams in the Americas pools who have the depth to match up with Canada’s guard rotation. Forward Insuneh Brady trails only Todd in scoring, averaging 14 points on the tournament and Kira Rice and Cotie McMahon are fourth and fifth in the tournament.
The final matchup will take place Sunday on FIBA’s YouTube channel at 7:30 p.m. EST.
Game 5 (Semifinals): Canada vs. Argentina BOXSCORE click HERE & video below:
Game 6 (Gold Medal Game): Canada vs. USA Sunday June 19th at 7:30pm est. click HERE to watch.
Canada’s Tyana Todd leads the tournament in scoring at 14.4ppg. Click HERE for scoring stats.