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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, October 01, 2014

UConn's Nurse powers Canada into FIBA World Championship quarterfinals

UConn incoming freshman Kia Nurse had her top offensive game in the FIBA World Championship for Women with 12 points to go with two rebounds and two assists as Canada defeated the Czech Republic 91-71 to set up a quarterfinal showdown with Australia. The game will be the first of the four quarterfinals and will begin at 7 a.m.

Nurse was 5 of 8 from the field and 2 of 2 from free-throw line as she was one of four double-digit scorers for Canada.

Kim Gaucher led the way with 17 points and three 3-pointers, Nirra Fields added 15 points and Katherine Plouffe finished with 13 points as Canada advanced to the World Championship quarterfinals for the first time since 1994.

"I wasn't too sure when id see day when we score 91 points," Canada coach Lisa Thomaidis said, "It was a fantastic performance.

"We are excited to get to top 8. As happy as we are, it's business as usual. We have a tough opponent in few days and these opportunities don't roll around too often."

Nurse was just 2 of 10 from the field in the last two games and Thomaidis spoke to Nurse about looking to create offense for herself with her mid-range game.

"Kia started off game hitting a pull-up jumper," Thomaidis said. "She looked to attack and do some different things and get on score sheet and the defensive end is where she brings her value. A great job by her."

Thomaidis compared the win to a victory over Brazil in the 2012 Olympics that resulted in Canada being among top eight team. What's interesting is that just five of the 10 players who saw time for Canada in that Olympic victory are members of the current Canadian squad. It bodes well for the future that the four youngest players on the team combined for 48 points, 19 rebounds and seven assists.

Here's the breakdown
Katherine Plouffe (born 9/15/92): 13 points, 4 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
Michelle Plouffe (born 9/15/92): 8 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals
Nirra Fields (born 12/2/93): 15 points, 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 2 steals
Kia Nurse (born 2/22/96): 12 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists

Also, France defeated Brazil 61-48 to set up a quarterfinal showdown with the U.S. When the teams met in an international friendly on Sept. 21, France won 76-72 as former UConn stars Maya Moore and Diana Taurasi were a combined 4 for 23 from the field and Brittney Griner, the second-leading scorer for the U.S. at the World Championships, did not play in the game.

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