Fantasy Basketball

FIBA Women’s World Cup quarterfinal recap: Alyssa Thomas leads Team USA

Serbia gave the USA a good scare in the first quarter, ending it only down by two. America got its act together and cruised to victory, 88-55, thanks to a stout defensive performance in the second and third quarters, where they gave up a grand total of 17 points. Alyssa Thomas had 13 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists and three steals while A’ja Wilson was her usual MVP self, contributing 15 points and grabbing eight rebounds. Team USA will now advance to the semifinals to face Canada.

Canada 79, Puerto Rico 60

Canada dominated Puerto Rico from the jump and never gave it an opportunity to win the game. Canada won on the boards 51-42 and led virtually every statistical category. One of the few bright spots for Puerto Rico was Trinity San Antonio, who scored 15 points in 16 minutes of play and shot 70 percent from the field. Canada had a balanced attack with five players in double figures, including Phoenix Mercury guard Kia Nurse, who ended the night with 16 points. Canada will have its hands full facing off against Team USA in the semifinal round. Whether it wins or loses, it will be in contention for a medal, a position it hasn’t been in since 1986 when it won the bronze medal by beating Czechoslovakia 64-59.

China 85, France 71

In the closest quarterfinal game, France played relatively well in every quarter minus the second. Led by Gabby Williams, the French maintained a quick pace, scoring 11 fast break points and 17 points off of turnovers. However, with the score at 66-58 China heading into the fourth, China closed the door on France. Sijing Huang hit a couple of threes, Han Xu scored six points in the paint, and Meng Li added her own six points to ice the game and secure the victory. China will move on and face Australia in the semifinals.

Australia 86, Belgium 69

Speaking of Austalia, they reached the semifinals by beating Belgium 86-69. The Chicago Sky’s Julie Allemand gave a valiant effort, leading Belgium in scoring with 15 points in her 30 minutes of play. Still, Australia just had too much firepower, dominating every quarter except the fourth when Belgium outscored Australia in garbage time. Cayla George was the player of the game with 19 points and nine rebounds, leading Australia’s balanced attack of four players scoring in double digits. Belgium really missed Emma Meesseman, who was unable to play due to a calf injury. The last time she faced Australia in a World Cup was in 2018, when she scored 32 points. This time, Australia got the better of Belgium and will have a chance to reach the final if it can beat China.

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