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A blog on UConn women's basketball.

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Undefeated Canada, U.S. to meet in Olympics

It wasn't always pretty but Canada defeated winless Senegal 68-58 led by UConn guard Kia Nurse to set up a showdown of undefeated teams on Friday in pool play.

Nurse had a tough shooting game but a key steal and layup by Nurse in the final two minutes finally put away the pesky Senegal team.

Nurse had 14 points as Canada improved to 3-0. The win means that Canada will finish in the top three in Group B with a two-game lead on China as well as owning the head to head tiebreaker. That is important because Australia seems headed to the Group A title so the No. 4 team in Group B would have to face Australia in the quarterfinals.

"She’s something else, isn’t she?" UConn and U.S. coach Geno Auriemma said. "She’s finally healthy. She struggled most of the season and she got it taken care of at the end. She’s playing with a lot of confidence because they had great success last summer in the Pan Am Games, in FIBA Americas they had a lot of success."

Canada and the U.S. will meet on Friday at 2:30 p.m. Canada wraps up pool play against Spain on Sunday at 4:45 p.m. in a game which could decide who finishes second in Group B.

The U.S. hit triple digits again as former UConn star Diana Taurasi had 25 points including a U.S. record six 3-pointers in the 110-84 win over Serbia. Fellow former Huskies Breanna Stewart and Tina Charles contributed with 17 points and 15 points and combined for 13 rebounds. Angel McCoughtry had 13 points and former UConn star Maya Moore chipped in with 10 for the U.S.

With every team having played three games, Taurasi is tied for fourth in scoring with an average of 17.7 points per game as she is shooting 58.3 percent from 3-point range. Nurse is tied for 13th in scoring with an average of 14.7 PPG. Stewart checks in at No. 17 with 13.1 points per game while shooting 75 percent from the field and Tina Charles is tied for 29th at 11.0 PPG.

Nurse tied a Canadian women's Olympic record with 39 points in back to back games. Current Canadian assistant coach Bev Smith scored 39 points against Yugoslavia and the United States during the 1984 Olympics.

39 Kia Nurse Serbia (25), Senegal (14) 201639 Bev Smith Yugoslavia (24), United States (15) 1984
38 Carol Turney United States (24), Czechoslovakia (14) 1976
37 Dianne Norman Korea (17), Congo (20) 1996
37 Carol Turney Japan (13), United States (24) 1976
36 Bev Smith Australia (12), Yugoslavia (24) 1984
35 Shona Thorburn Great Britain (18), France (17) 2012
32 Sylvia Sweeney Japan (26), United States (6) 1976
31 Kim Smith Russia (20), Great Britain 2012
31 Kim Smith Brazil (14), Australia (17) 2012
30 Kim Smith Australia (17), United States 13 2012
30 Dianne Norman Japan (13), Korea (17) 1976

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