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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

UConn's Nurse leads Canada into FIBA Americas semifinals

UConn sophomore guard Kia Nurse overcame a slow start offensively to finish with 14 points, two rebounds, three assists and two steals to lead Canada to a surprisingly routine 92-43 win over previously undefeated Cuba in a game which decided the Group A title at the FIBA Americas championship.

Four starters scored in double figures for Canada as Miranda Ayim had 12 points while Kim Gaucher and Tamara Tatham added 11 points each as Canada improved to 4-0 and will play Brazil in Saturday's 8 p.m. semifinal. Argentina handed Brazil its first loss of the tournament thanks to a game-ending 10-2 run to record a 73-69 victory.

Canada held Cuba's Yamara Amargo to five points on 1 of 9 shooting. She came into the game leading all players in the tournament averaging 22 points per game.

If there was a negative for Canada it was the apparent ankle injury suffered by veteran guard Shona Thornburn.

Cuba will play the Argentina in the other semifinal with the winners playing on Sunday with a spot in the 2016 Olympics on the line. If Brazil reaches the final then whoever the other finalist is will be guaranteed a spot in the Olympics since Brazil has been granted an automatic berth into the Olympics.

The first game on Saturday will feature Puerto Rico and Venezuela in the fifth-place game. The winner will secure the third and final FIBA Americas spot in next year's Olympic Qualifying Tournament. Meriden's Damika Martinez had a game-high 22 points as Puerto Rico defeated Chile to clinch third place in Group A and set up the game with Venezuela.

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