Team Canada will play for bronze at the 2022 FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup after suffering an 83-43 loss to the top-ranked United States in semifinal action on Friday in Australia.
Following the preliminary round of the tournament, the U.S. sat at the top of Group A, going 5-0 for 10 points. In Group B, Canada finished tied in the first-place spot with Australia — as both teams went 4-1 for a total of nine points.
Canada defeated Puerto Rico 79-60 while the U.S. took down Serbia 88-55 in the quarterfinals to advance.
The semifinal meeting however, saw Canada go up against their toughest competition to date — a United States squad that seemed to know exactly how to shut them down.
The Canadians’ typically strong defence looked sloppier than usual, along with just about everything else they had done so well leading up to Friday. It became quite clear, quite early how much harder Canada would have to work for any offensive opportunities compared to their opponents.
Struggling to score until the five-minute mark of the first quarter, Canada allowed the U.S. to get 15 unanswered points over them before finally responding with their first two-pointer of the game. After ten minutes of play, the U.S. led 27-7.
Canada appeared to enter the second quarter with much more confidence, finally putting up a bit of a challenge for the other team. With that being said, the United States continued their domination, extending their lead and going into the halftime break with a score of 45-21.
The third and fourth quarters played out similarly, with Canada bringing the necessary energy but still failing to gain any kind of significant ground on the U.S. The Americans made it 67-29 to finish the third and ultimately secured their 40-point win over Canada after 40 minutes.
Brenna Stewart was the U.S. team’s leading scorer with 17 points — 12 of which came from her four three-pointers on the night. A’Ja Wilson earned her first double-double of the tournament, recording 15 points and a team-leading 12 rebounds.
On the other side, Laeticia Amihere led offensively for Canada with eight points.
The United States are the three-time defending champions, winning gold in five of the last six World Cups. Canada’s best results in the tournament’s history are two bronze medals, with the most recent won in 1986. The team hadn’t played for a medal since — until now.
Canada’s chance to add a third bronze to their collection will also take place on Friday, at 11 p.m. ET / 8 p.m. PT on Sportsnet and SN Now. The Canadians will take on host Australia.
The U.S. will attempt to extend their championship streak to four consecutive World Cups, facing China on Saturday at 2 a.m. ET / 11 p.m. PT in the gold-medal game.
James questions media disparity in coverage of Irving tweet, Jerry Jones photo
LOS ANGELES (AP) — LeBron James has questions about the disparity of media scrutiny he believes is being applied to a 1957 photo of Jerry Jones and the recent controversy surrounding Kyrie Irving.
The photo of Jones, captured by an Associated Press photographer, shows him standing among a group of white students at North Little Rock High School in Arkansas on Sept. 9, 1957. The group was blocking six Black students who were attempting to desegregate the school and news reports said that moments after the image was taken, the students were shoved down a flight of stairs.
The photo accompanied a Washington Post story last month that was about Jones’ legacy as owner of the Dallas Cowboys, including how the team has never had a Black head coach.
James has spoken often about the Cowboys — he was a fan of the team for years before saying in October on Instagram Live that he has switched allegiances — but said Wednesday that he found it interesting that he wasn’t asked about the Jones photo.
“When I watched Kyrie talk, and he says, ‘I know who I am, but I want to keep the same energy when we’re talking about my people and the things they’ve been through,’ and that Jerry Jones photo is one of those moments that our people, Black people, have been through in America,” James said after the Los Angeles Lakers’ game on Wednesday night. “And I feel like as a Black man, as a Black athlete, someone with power and with a platform, when we do something wrong or something that people don’t agree with, it’s on every single tabloid, every single news coverage. It’s on the bottom ticker. It’s asked about every single day.
“But it seems like to me that the whole Jerry Jones situation, the photo, and I know it was years and years ago, and we all make mistakes, I get it. It seems like it’s just been buried under, like, ‘Oh, it happened. OK. We just move on.’ And I was just kind of disappointed that I haven’t received that question from you guys.”
Irving was suspended for an eventual eight games by the Brooklyn Nets earlier this season after the guard — a former teammate of James’ with the Cleveland Cavaliers — tweeted a link to a film containing antisemitic material.
James was asked by reporters about that last month, and he made clear that he thought Irving made a significant mistake.
“There’s no place in this world for it,” James said in November. “Nobody can benefit from that and I believe what Kyrie did caused some harm to a lot of people. … We as humans, none of us are perfect. But I hope he understands how what he did and the actions that he took were just harmful to a lot of people.”
Jones told reporters last week that he was at that school entrance as “a curious kid.” He was 14 at the time.
“That was, gosh, 65 years ago, and (I was a) curious kid,” Jones said. “I didn’t know at the time the monumental event really that was going on. And I’m sure glad that we’re a long way from that.”
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Canada coach John Herdman disputes Croatian counterpart’s account of skipped post-match handshake
Canada coach John Herdman is disputing his Croatian counterpart’s account of why there was no handshake after their World Cup game.
Herdman had antagonized the Croatian camp with a heated postgame message to his players after Canada’s opening 1-0 loss to Belgium at the soccer showcase. Asked in a pitch-side interview what he had said in a postgame huddle to his players, Herdman replied: “I told them they belong here and we’re going to go and eff – Croatia. That’s as simple as it gets.”
That prompted a stern lecture from Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic on the need for respect. And after Croatia beat the Canadians 4-1 Sunday, Dalic was asked if he had a chance to shake hands with Herdman following the final whistle.
“I did not see the other head coach after the match,” he said through an interpreter. “When I lose I always congratulate the winner. He was not there and that’s his way of doing things. He’s obviously mad. He is a good coach. He is a high-quality professional. But it will take some time for him to learn some things.”
Herdman, whose postgame news conference preceded Dalic’s on Sunday, disputed that account Wednesday when asked about it.
“Look, we shook hands before the game. So that happened,” he said. “At the end of the game, the usual process – no different than [with Belgium coach] Roberto Martinez. You shake hands with the coach, then you go shake hands with the referee.
“When I turned round, [Dalic] was already off down the touchline, which is his right to do. He’s celebrating. He’s just beaten Canada. It was a big celebration for him. He was off and I couldn’t get to shake his hand. I went into the field, shook the ref’s hand, shook players’ hands. And didn’t get to see him.
“That moment’s gone. We’re into process now – team huddle, see your fans, flash interviews, calm yourself down so you don’t say anything and move on.”
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