USA claims bronze medal in final game over Canada at FIBA AmeriCup
RECIFE (Brazil) - USA will be going home with some hardware after defeating Canada 84-80 in the bronze medal game of the FIBA AmeriCup.
Two of the most evenly matched teams in the competition, each was ready to come back and avenge their loss in the Semi-Finals.
USA 🇺🇸 win Bronze 🥉 after edging Canada 🇨🇦 in the third place game 👏🎉— FIBA AmeriCup (@AmeriCup) September 11, 2022
@Gary11_Clark 18PTS 6REB🔥@1KingZ4 16PTS 6REB🔥@Chicksword3232 11PTS 🔥#AmeriCup pic.twitter.com/FBngHQz23Y
Canada got the edge to start the game by leading by just a pointt, 16-15, as they showcased their scoring rotation with four different scorers having multiple baskets including Kadre Gray, Abu Kigab, Trae Bell-Haynes and Thomas Kennedy.
Stephen Zimmerman was already standing out for USA with 8 points halfway through the second quarter, and Gary Clark added 4, as USA’s usual scorers of Jeremy Pargo and Norris Cole were hold to 2 points combined.
Increasing their lead by 7, Canada’s Kigab was up to 12 points as a shooting weapon for Canada on 55.56 percent shooting, while Gray added 6 points shooting 100 percent from 2-point range.
But USA, one of the most successful teams in the history of the competition, kicked into overdrive in the third quarter, outscoring Canada 25-21 and closing in on the lead trailing by just 3 points, 57-54.
Gary Clark’s 10-point quarter and shooting efficiency was the momentum that USA needed to swing the game back into their possession, even despite Canada’s scorers finding their own rhythm as well.
Gray rose to 10 points as USA defended usual suspect Dalano Banton to just 33.3 percent shooting for four points, and their shooting rose to 53 percent as a team.
But USA’s ability to see the court and create space for shooters was the difference, even in a game where Canada controlled the paint and had a deeper rotation to get shots up.
Jahvon Henry-Blair’s 10 points in the fourth quarter kept Canada’s hopes alive, but as they played sloppy defense while USA got a second wind, as they had done against Brazil, the cross border rivals finished the job.
USA scored a massive 30 points including 11 by Zylan Cheatham to close the game, shooting 57 percent by the end of the game.
Tipping in 17 points in transition to create a 4-point gap to win, USA showed their veteran presence was the difference in the ability to close out a game vs. a young Canadian team who struggled in the fourth quarter in the competition.
Clark led USA with 18 points while Cheatham added 16 and both nabbed 6 rebounds in the win for USA, and Zimmerman ended with a near double-double of 8 points and 8 rebounds.
Canada’s Kigab led the team with 18 points as he found his flow in their final two games, while Henry-Blair and Gray both added 15 points. Gray also added 5 rebounds and 7 assists in the loss.