July 24, 2015
CHEKHOV, Russia – South Carolina forward A’ja Wilson tallied 11 points and four rebounds in a winning effort for USA Basketball, which defeated Canada, 93-45, in the quarterfinals of the FIBA U19 World Championships on Friday. The victory sets up a semifinal match-up against Spain on Saturday for head coach Dawn Staley and the Americans.
Wilson, who finished the contest 4-8 from the floor, was one of four Americans to finish in double-figures. She has scored at least 10 points in all five of the U.S.’s games this tournament, and her 15.6 points per game rank first on the team.
The U.S. once again jumped out in front early, scoring the game’s first 11 points. Wilson’s first field goal made it 7-0 less than three minutes into the contest, and the Americans pushed their lead to 13-5 following another bucket by the U.S. team captain halfway through the first quarter.
“I’m really proud of how we got off to a much better starts than in other games,” Staley said. “I feel like we’re peaking at the right time.”
All four of Wilson’s first half field goals came in the opening quarter, as the U.S. took a commanding 28-5 lead into the second period. USA saw its advantage grow in the second quarter, and it led 55-17 at the half. The Americans’ 38-point halftime lead marked the largest for them during the tournament.
The U.S. opened the third quarter on a 7-0 run to push the lead to 62-17, and a pair of free throws by Wilson late in the period made it 74-19. The rising sophomore converted three free throws on the day, and she finished the game with one steal and one block.
The Americans remained in control in the fourth quarter, and the Canadians were unable to get any closer the rest of the way. The U.S. held Canada to just 23.5 percent shooting on the day and finished the contest with a 52-38 advantage on the boards.
Tip-off for Saturday’s semifinal game against Spain is set for 1:15 p.m. ET, and the contest can be seen live on ESPN3.