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22 WWC Stewart vs CAN_9-30-22_1440x960

Stewart, Wilson Lead USA to Fourth Consecutive World Cup Final

  • Author:
    Sarah Lounsbury
  • Date:
    Sep 30, 2022

The United States punched its ticket to the 2022 FIBA Women's World Cup Final with a record-setting 83-43 win over Canada. The USA’s imposing defense held Canada to the fewest number of points ever scored in a semifinal game, 10 fewer than Korea’s total against Russia in 2002. Friday’s victory gives the USA a chance to win a fourth consecutive gold medal and guarantees a 12th straight World Cup medal. 

The USA extended its tournament winning streak to 29 games, second in tournament history to the 56-game streak of the Soviet Union from 1959-1975. 

The USA started the game by scoring 15 consecutive points, holding Canada scoreless for the first 4:51. With 28 of its 48 points in the paint scored in the first half, the American's accuracy and ability to consistently establish position from the get-go appeared to be a difference maker. 

 

“We didn’t want them to get off to a good start,” said Alyssa Thomas, who scored 10 points on 5-of-5 shooting. “When they get off to a good start, then it makes things really difficult. They have a lot of great shooters, so we really tried to pressure them and turn them over and we did a good job of it."

 

Breanna Stewart, the MVP of the 2018 tournament, led the USA with 17 points and eight rebounds. Stewart’s four 3-pointers were exceeded in a World Cup semifinal by two players with five: Diana Taurasi in 2018 and Elena Kuz’Mina of Russia in 1998.  

 

“Some days shots are gonna fall, some days they're not,” said Stewart. “But making sure that consistently what I bring, besides scoring, is always the same. Just knowing that we're getting to more and more important games as we go and making sure that I'm being my best so then the rest of us can all hear that.”

 

A’ja Wilson produced a double-double in 21 minutes with 15 points and 12 rebounds, helping the USA to a 40-point margin of victory, its largest in a World Cup semifinal. The previous high was 36 against Spain in 2010.   

 

While the USA is pleased with its performance today, the focus remains on finishing the tournament by reaching the goal that was established from day one: bring home a gold medal. 

 

“It's something that is so special to us because that's our main goal,” said Wilson. “We sacrifice a lot to be here and we sacrifice a lot to be a part of USA Basketball. When we can get to the gold medal game, that's what it's all about. So we put everything aside and now it's go time.”

 

Sarah Lounsbury is a contributor to USAB.com as part of the Sports Capital Journalism Program at IUPUI.

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