Canada holds off tough Argentina squad to move into Semi-Finals
LEON (Mexico) – Canada faced one of their hardest challenges yet as they took down Argentina in a 68-60 victory in their Quarter-Final matchup of the 2023 FIBA Women’s AmeriCup at Domo de la Feria in León, Guanajuato, Mexico.
Aaliyah Edwards and Nirra Fields, two of Canada’s most efficient players all competition as Fields averaged 11 points per game during the group stage, got their scoring started early with 5 point and 4 points respectively in the first quarter.
But Julieta Mungo was on fire in the first quarter shooting 100 percent from the field for 10 points, half of Argentina’s 20, as Melisa Gretter added 4 points to secure a 2-point lead over the Canadians after one quarter.
Field and Edwards continued to fight to keep Canada in the game as a deficit is something they have rarely faced in this year’s Women’s AmeriCup, and the veteran presence of Kayla Alexander adding 6 points in the quarter along with playmaker Sami Hill put Canada ahead 38-30 by the half.
Mungo was held to just 2 points in the quarter and Argentina’s leading scorer Andrea Boquete, who averaged 16.5 points in the group stage, was held to just one. But the difference between the two teams was on the boards, as Canada only allowed Argentina to grab 3 offensive rebounds.
A 10-point third quarter from Shay Colley gave Canada some more momentum, but as Argentina’s depth showed Florencia Chagas and Candela Gentinetta also added 10 combined points in the third quarter as Argentina trailed by just 3 points, 54-51.
Even with the deficit Argentina was dominating the game in almost all areas, forcing unlikely turnovers from Canada and dominating in the paint despite Canada’s size and physicality down low and had the scoring power on their side once again.
But Canada’s defense came to play one last time in the final quarter, holding Argentina to just 9 points while Fields scored 7 and Edwards scored 6 with both players also playing gritty on the defensive boards to keep Argentina at bay.
Fields led Canada with 22 points and 8 rebounds and Edwards added a double-double of 13 points and 16 rebounds. Shay Colley contributed 11 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists in Canada’s win.
Mungo led Argentina with 12 points, Gretter added 11 points and 5 rebounds and Chagas added 9 points and 6 rebounds for Argentina in the loss.
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