US runs past Canada into World Cup gold medal game
Breanna Stewart scored 17 points and the United States raced out to an early lead to put away Canada 83-43 on Friday, advancing to the gold medal game of the World Cup for the fourth consecutive tournament.The Americans will face either China or Australia, who played later in the day, for the gold.The US 7-0, which is on a record pace for points and margin of victory in the tournament, took control of the game early scoring the first 15 points.
Breanna Stewart scored 17 points and the United States raced out to an early lead to put away Canada 83-43 on Friday, advancing to the gold medal game of the World Cup for the fourth consecutive tournament.
The Americans will face either China or Australia, who played later in the day, for the gold.
The US (7-0), which is on a record pace for points and margin of victory in the tournament, took control of the game early scoring the first 15 points. The Americans contested every shot on the defensive end as the Canadians missed their first nine attempts from the field. On the offensive end, Stewart, A'ja Wilson, and Alyssa Thomas basically got any shot they wanted.
Laeticia Amihere, who plays at South Carolina for former U.S. coach Dawn Staley, finally got Canada on the board nearly 5 minutes into the game making a driving layup. By the end of the quarter, the US-led 27-7. Canada had committed four turnovers — the same number the team had against Puerto Rico in the quarterfinals which was the lowest total in a game in 30 years.
The Americans were up 45-21 at the half and the lead kept expanding in the final 20 minutes. The win was the biggest margin for the US in the medal round topping the 36-point victory over Spain in the 2010 World Cup.
Canada (5-2) advanced to the medal round for the first time since 1986 and has a chance to win its first medal since that year when the Canadians took the bronze. The US has won seven of the eight meetings with Canada in the World Cup, although the last one came in 2010. The lone victory for Canada came in 1975. The victory was the 29th in a row in World Cup play for the Americans, who haven't lost since the 2006 semifinals against Russia. The Soviet Union holds the World Cup record with 56 straight wins from 1959-86. This is only the second time in the Americans' storied history they've reached four consecutive gold medal contests. They also did it from 1979-90 winning three times.
This US team, which has so many new faces on it, is on pace to break many of the team's records that include scoring margin and points per game. The Americans also continued to dominate the paint even without 6-foot-8 Brittney Griner, outscoring its opponents by an average of 55-24.
Amihere led Canada with eight points.
RECORD BREAKING The 43 points allowed was the fewest in a semifinal game, breaking the mark of 53 that South Korea scored against Russia in 2002. The U.S. is averaging 101 points a game. The team's best mark ever coming into the tournament was 99.1 set in 1994. STILL RECOVERING Kahleah Copper sat out after injuring her left hip in the win over Serbia in the quarterfinals. Copper landed hard on her hip driving to the basket and had to be helped off the court. She hopes to play on Saturday. Betnijah Laney, who also got hurt in the Serbia game, did play against Canada.
UP NEXT Canada: Plays for the bronze medal on Saturday.
US: Plays for gold medal on Saturday.
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