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Holly MacKenzie


LÉON, Mexico (July 5, 2023) – The Canadian Senior Women’s National Team defeated the Dominican Republic 88-48 at the 2023 FIBA Women’s AmeriCup in Mexico on Wednesday. With the win, Team Canada finished group play with a perfect 4-0 undefeated record.

Canada had four players reach double figures, led by Cassandre Prosper’s 13 points on 6-for-8 shooting. Yvonne Ejim scored 11 points to go with six rebounds while Aislinn Konig and Aaliyah Edwards added 10 points apiece. Kayla Alexander had a game-high 11 rebounds.

Yenifer Jimenez led the Dominican Republic with 13 points in the loss.

“We’re happy,” Team Canada head coach Víctor Lapeña said. “I’m very happy with the attitude of my team. I think with the last four games we worked a lot, we grew up and the chemistry of the team is now much better than the first game. Today it was to keep working in the same direction. I’m very happy that all of them had the opportunity to play. All of them, during the last four games, have scored. All of them are great, great players. Great people. The chemistry of the team, I think, is the key to playing this basketball.”

Each of Canada’s players making their debuts with the Senior Team were able to play extended minutes in group play. Coach Lapeña was pleased with what he saw from the youngest players on the roster.

“I know when it’s the first time it’s special,” he said of the players making their debuts. “So, they feel nervous, they feel different, but I think it’s not just what I try to [convey] to them. It’s what they have around and I think they have the best teammates possible.”

Through four games of group play, Canada’s largest deficit was two points. They led for all but 1:59 minutes of play. Whether the team was playing veterans or younger players, the effort and energy remained the same. In Wednesday’s victory, 48 of the team’s 88 points were scored by reserves.

“What they are doing during this tournament, even coming for the first time here, is very, very special for me,” Lapeña said. “The key is their teammates. We are a family, but they are a special family in the locker room.”

Canada never trailed on Wednesday, jumping out to an early 8-0 lead and holding the Dominican Republic without a field goal until the 2:13 mark of the opening quarter. A three from Syla Swords put Canada ahead 22-7 after the opening 10 minutes.

Canada shot 47 per cent in the win, holding the Dominican Republic to 23 per cent shooting. The Canadians held a 60-30 edge on the glass, including a 21-11 advantage in offensive rebounds.

The Dominican Republic opened the second quarter on a 7-2 run to get within 10 points, but after a steal from Cesarina Capellan, Shay Colley sprinted the length of the floor to get the chase-down block. Her defensive effort seemed to ignite Team Canada. After a bucket from Alexander and then a steal from Konig that ended with a layup for Prosper, the lead was back up to 14, 28-14, with 5:57 remaining in the half.

Prosper assisted her teammates as well as she finished their assists, finding Ejim under the basket for an easy layup. On Canada’s next possession, Fields went inside Ejim once again for another quick score. Canada went into the half with a 41-25 lead.

The Canadians maintained their advantage throughout the third, using a 12-0 run to break the game open and go ahead by 28 points with less than three minutes to go in the quarter. After a layup from Prosper to close the third, Canada outscored the Dominican Republic 23-10 in the quarter. They began the fourth with a 64-35 lead.

With the game already out of reach, Canada continued to roll in the fourth, continuing to push despite their lead. Sami Hill continued to attack, making four consecutive free throws to extend the lead to 78-38 with 4:26 remaining as Canada went on to pick up their fourth victory in as many days from there.

With the win, Canada advances to Friday’s quarterfinals. Fans can stream all the action on LIVE on Sportsnet NOW.

“I think we just need to focus on our defence and focus on our energy and effort,” Hill said of the team’s mindset moving forward. “We can’t always control the shots, if they’re going in or not, but we can always control our effort on defence and making sure we put all our focus on there in order to get as many stops as we can in order to set up our offence and make it as easy for us as possible on that end of the floor.”


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