Merissah Russell scored 18 points and added seven steals to lead Canada to a dominant 66-36 win over Angola at the FIBA under-17 Women’s Basketball World Cup on Sunday.
Sarah Te-Biasu also chipped in 13 points for Canada as it notched its second straight win in round-robin play. Canada opened the tournament with a 65-51 victory over Latvia on Saturday.
Cacia Antonio led the way for Angola with 14 points and eight rebounds.
Angola kept it close through the first two quarters, heading into halftime down 29-22, as Canada struggled through early foul trouble and turnovers.
But the Canadians pulled away after that, outscoring Angola by 12 in the third and 18 in the fourth. Canada’s perimeter defence shined in the second half, forcing contested shots and helping limit Angola to just 14 points.
“From this game, we have to continue bringing energy both on and off the court. We also need to continue to be disruptive on defence and execute on offence,” Russell said.
Canada is slated to face Australia on Tuesday and head coach Jodi Gram is hoping the team can build off its win on Sunday.
“We are happy to walk away from this game with a win, but Angola really exposed a few things that can help us learn and narrow our focus as we prepare for a very solid Australia team,” she said.
“Our depth again proved to be the difference as we continue to wear teams down over 40 minutes.”