Preview >> USA Women vs. Canada
Sept. 27 • Ostrava, Czech Republic
• Complete Game Notes (PDF)
TV: Live on NBA TV, 2:15 p.m. (EDT)
In the 2010 World Championship
Canada was the No. 3 seed out of preliminary round Group A after falling 72-47 to Australia, topping China 65-51 and losing to Belarus 61-49. Against Australia, Canada was a dismal 28.6 percent from the field (12-42 FGs) and committed 27 turnovers as Kim Smith led with 11 points. In their win over China, Canada improved to 44.8 percent from the field (26-58 FGs), and Smith dropped 25 points in the game. The shooting struggles returned against Belarus, when Canada shot just 30.0 percent (15-50 FGs) from the field, and for a third-straight game, Smith was her squad's leading scorer with 11 points.
A Little History
Canada finished 3-2 at the 2009 FIBA Americas Championship and claimed the bronze medal to earn its place in the 2010 FIBA World Championship. All-time in World Championship play, Canada is 32-29 (.525) in seven appearances. Its best finishes were in 1979 and 1986, when the Canadians took home bronze medals. Most recently, Canada finished in 10th place at the 2006 Worlds with a 2-6 record.
All-time against the USA in FIBA World Championships, Canada is 1-5, including losses in 1994 (98-65), 1990 (95-70), 1986 (82-59), 1979 (77-61) and 1971 (80-60). Canada recorded its lone win over the USA in 1975 with a 74-68 victory.
Players To Watch
In all three games, forward Kim Smith has led for Canada, scoring 11 points against Australia and Belarus and dropping 25 on China for a 15.7 ppg. average thus far. She is also Canada's minutes leader at 30.3 mpg.
Veteran guard Teresa Gabriele, who is second in points (8.0 ppg.) and minutes (27.3 mpg.) in 2010, averaged team-bests of 11.0 ppg. and 3.4 apg., while adding 4.0 rpg. in the 2009 zone qualifer.
Overall, eight Canadians are returning from the 2009 team that topped Cuba
69-59 in overtime to take the FIBA Americas bronze medal last year, including
Canada's youngest player, Natalie Achonwa, who has yet to turn 18 years old.
In 2009, Achonwa helped the senior team with 6.6 ppg. and 4.2 rpg. in the FIBA
Americas Championship. She also played for Canada in the 2009 FIBA U19 World
Championship (10.3 ppg., 6.1 rpg.) and the 2008 FIBA Americas U18 Championship
(7.2 ppg., 5.8 rpg., 1.2 apg.).
USA Assistant Coach Jen Gillom (Los Angeles Sparks)
What do you expect to see out of Canada?
They are a team with a lot of movement. They are guard-oriented, and they run a lot of motion offense and look to keep the defense busy. They are a very patient team, and a very disciplined team. We definitely have to look to run them, because I think they would prefer to play a half-court game with us. I think if we come out and play solid defense and execute offensively, this could be a very good game for us.
The same player, Kim Smith has led them in scoring
in all three games, is it just a matter of shutting her down?
Kim is really their only 3-point shooter, and if we can limit her touches, that will definitely help us. That will be one of the keys to the game -- shutting down Smith.
Is there something about Canada's team that the
U.S. offense can exploit?
I think we need to attack the basket. They are not great one-on-one defenders. I think they do well against on-ball screens and that type of thing, but I think if we exploit our quickness when we have one-on-one opportunities, that will be to our advantage and a disadvantage for them.