The Senior Women’s National Team defeated Argentina 67-65 in the FIBA Women’s AmeriCup 2017 Final Sunday night to successfully defend their FIBA Americas title.
Kia Nurse led Canada with 12 points while Miranda Ayim and Miah-Marie Langlois each had 10 points. Ruth Hamblin had nine points and seven rebounds with Katherine Plouffe and Nirra Fields chipping in seven points apiece in Canada’s win.
“I’m so proud of our team. We are young, we have a bunch of new players and we really weren’t tested until this game.”Head Coach Lisa Thomaidis said after the win. “Just a fabulous win for this program and this team in terms of kicking off the start of this squad and heading forward.”
Canada trailed Argentina 18-14 after the first quarter. Down 34-27 at the half, Canada took the lead for the first time with a 29-13 third quarter. A back-and-forth final frame would see Kia Nurse make a crucial jumper with 1:27 to play as Canada held on for a historic 67-65 victory.
This is Canada’s second consecutive FIBA Women’s AmeriCup (formerly FIBA Americas Championship for Women) title after defeating Cuba 82–66 in Edmonton back in 2015. Canada also previously won gold at the 1995 American Olympic Qualifying Tournament Tournament for Women.
Canada becomes just the second country to repeat as FIBA Women’s AmeriCup champions, joining Brazil who accomplished the feat twice (2001-2003, 2009-2011). Canada has now found the podium in each of the last five FIBA Americas competitions dating back to the 2009 FIBA Americas Championship for Women.
Sunday’s victory was Canada’s first head-to-head since a 77-57 win at the 2005 FIBA Americas Championship for Women and snaps a streak of two straight in favour of Argentina.
Nirra Fields was named FIBA Women’s AmeriCup 2017 Most Valuable Player and was selected to the All-Star Five along with Canada’s captain Miranda Ayim.
“It feels amazing.” Fields said, “It’s the second title in a row and we are writing history. The team is feeling great and we are all celebrating. We are happy that we put in a team effort today and got the win.”
Fields averaged 14.5 points, 5.3 rebounds and two assists, while Ayim averaged 8.2 points and 6.3 rebounds in the tournament.