USA pulls away in 3rd quarter to defeat Canada in World U17 semi-final

USA 120, Canada 71… The Americans blew open what was a tie game late in the second quarter, finishing the first half on a 17-5 run to lead by 12 at the intermission and then turned up the defensive pressure to hold Canada to just 29 second half points in what turned into a route.

Canada had it to 13 at 66-53 with about 4 minutes left in the third however USA turned up the defensive pressure, creating 7 Canadian turnovers in the key four minute stretch as the Americans finished the third quarter on a 17-2 run and then scored the first 7 points of the fourth to seal it, leading by 35.

Canada got out the gates strong, making 5 of their first 7 shots from downtown and saw 6’6″ Addison Patterson generally have his way off the dribble (12 first-half points) and led 28-20 late in the first quarter.  But the USA started to get their transition game going, attacking the rim to finish or to draw fouls.  Later the Americans turned up the full court pressure, creating numerous turnovers (Canada had 33 turnovers on the night) and easy scores to pull away in the second half.

Patterson finished with 15 points to lead Canada while 5’11” Shemar Rathan-Mayes and 6’9″ Charles Bediako each added 9 in the loss.  6’4″ Jalen Green, the #1 rated player in the Class of 2020 from Fresno, CA led all scorers with 24 points, one of 7 different Americans who hit double figures.  Canada tried to pack it in against the American shooters and that particular ploy was effective (USA shot just 5-22 from three) but the turnovers, 25 USA offensive rebounds, easy transition and relentless pressure propelled USA to tomorrow’s Gold medal game against France.

Canada will look to medal in the third-place/Bronze medal game tomorrow against Puerto Rico.


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