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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

UConn's Kia Nurse one win away from realizing Olympic dream

It wasn't the best game that Kia Nurse played in the FIBA Americas Women's Championship but with her Canada team beating Brazil to move one win away from a spot in next year's Olympics, I'm sure the UConn guard wasn't complaining.

After missing her first six shots of the game Nurse hit a 3-pointer to give Canada a five-point lead with 1:41 left in the first half. She finished with nine points on 2 of 10 shooting to go with four rebounds, two assists and three steals in the 83-66 victory.

Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe came off the bench to score 18 points, Miranda Ayim had 11 points and 
Miah-Marie Langlois added 10 points and 7 assists for Canada, which has to beat Cuba tomorrow to punch a ticket to the Olympics. If Canada were to lose, it would need to finish in the top five in next year's FIBA Women's Olympic Qualifying tournament.

Canada national team coach Lisa Thomaidis said she is expecting a much different game after her team's 47-point win over Cuba in pool play on Thursday. Still, she likes the position the team is in.

"It's no accident that we are here," Thomaidis said. "We are very well prepared and we will be very well prepared tomorrow. Our team will have a lot of confidence going into tomorrow. We are not by any means a cocky team, we are very humble but we have a quiet confidence about us. There is a ton of belief in each other based on what we are seeing on the floor with different people stepping up and being able to contribute on any night."
Nurse is Canada's leading scorer with an average of 11.6 points per game and is tied for second with six steals in the five games.

Cuba advanced to the final as Clenia Noblet had seven of her 29 points in overtime in an 89-79 victory over Argentina.

Argentina, which was undefeated in the tournament, forced overtime with Celia Fiorotto's only basket of the game with two seconds left in the fourth quarter.

Argentina will get a chance to play in FIBA's Women's Olympic Qualifying Tournament next year as well Venezuela, which defeated Puerto Rico 65-56 in the fifth-place game. Meriden's Damika Martinez had six points and three rebounds for Puerto Rico.

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