(GWANGJU, South Korea - Team Canada) The Canadian women’s basketball team claimed the Universiade silver medal after falling 82-63 to the United States in the gold medal final at the 28th Summer Universiade, Monday.
Gwangju 2015 website: www.gwangju2015.com
Team Canada website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/universiade/summer/2015/index
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Canada’s silver medal is the program’s best result at the games. Prior to tonight, their highest finish was a bronze medal on two occasions in 1979 (Mexico City) and 1991 (Sheffield, England).
“I am tremendously proud of our girls and their performance at these games,” said head coach Fabian McKenzie. “Our first silver medal at the Universiade is a huge step for our program. I have had a wonderful summer with these young ladies, and this truly has been phenomenal.”
UNB women's basketball head coach Jeff Speedy is with the team as an assistant coach. He says the gold medal game was a disappointing end to a great tournament.
"We just did not have quite enough answers for a very talented US team. But I'm very proud of our effort and our silver medal," Speedy said.
"The entire summer was fantastic. The team really came together, improved a ton and wel finished with a 10-2 record. I learned a lot and was honoured to represent my country once again."
The game started close, but the tables turned in favour of the USA in the second quarter, as Canada struggled with turnovers and rebounds. Defensively, the USA built up 20 defensive rebounds and six blocked shots in the first half to lead 31-23 heading into the break.
Canada came alive in the third going on a 10-4 run in the first three minutes to make it a two point game. The red and white played a smart ten minutes and were neck and neck with the Americans, outscoring them 22-17 in the frame.
However, in the fourth, the US rode a wave of experience and used their size in the paint and outside scoring ability to build a twenty point lead that the Canadians could not recover.
The difference was their ability to get the ball in the paint and to run the floor,” McKenzie continued. “We didn’t stop them from doing that and our offensive execution kind of died in the fourth quarter, and that really hurt us.”
Canada was led by Ajax, Ont. native Dakota Whyte with 20 points, while Adut Bulgak had the team’s only double-double with 15 points and 16 rebounds.
About the Summer Universiade
The Summer Universiade is an international multi-sport event that takes place every two years and is second only to the Olympic Games in the number of participating athletes and countries. The Universiade is open to competitors who are at least 17 and less than 28 years of age as of January 1 in the year of the Games. Participants must be full-time students at a post-secondary institution (university, college, CEGEP) or have graduated from a post-secondary institution in the year preceding the event.
With files from Canadian Interuniversity Sport.