CANADA BREEZES BY VENEZUELA IN PAN AM OPENER

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Written by Jas Grewal

In a contest where seven players registered in double digits, with seasoned vet Lizanne Murphy (Angers, France) leading the charge with 15 points to go along with nine rebounds, the Canadian Women’s basketball team overwhelmed Venezuela in their opening matchup of the 2015 Pan Am games to the tune of 63 points, 101-38.

Canada feasted on transition opportunities to help ignite an early 13-2 run in the opening frame and refused to look back from that point on, essentially building on the lead as the game progressed.

Venezuela shot a dismal 25% (12/48) from the field, much of which can be attributed to Canada’s stifling defensive pressure, seemingly forcing turnovers and bad shots throughout the entirety of the game, including at least three shot-clock violations.

COC Photo by Jason Ransom

Conversely, the hometown ladies connected on 56% (41/73) of their shots – including a blistering 50% (14/28) from downtown- resulting in a balanced scoring output for Canada.

Also assisting in the scoring department for Canada was UConn Huskie Kia Nurse, who poured in 12 points to complement her six assists- Nurse (Hamilton, ON) proved why she is considered to be one of the top guards in the nation despite only being 19 years old.

Hamilton native Shona Thorburn (Nantes Reze, France) also chipped in with 14 of her own, including a sizzling 4/4 from downtown.

After the game, an elated Murphy spoke to media about maintaining consistent energy and effort for the full forty minutes.

“ I think that [energy and effort] speaks to the depth on the team. I mean everybody’s waiting for their chance to get in there and push the tempo and bring even more energy,” said Murphy. “So, it’s like, everybody’s waiting, everyone’s ready to show our country what we’re made of. That’s kind of why I don’t think we have any lulls [from starters to bench].”

COC Photo by Jason Ransom

Head coach Lisa Thomaidis also gave credence to the depth of her ball club.

“Seven players in double-digits. We’ve been talking all along about the depth of talent that we do have now and I think it was showcased tonight,” said coach Thomaidis after the win.

“We’re really trying to hold ourselves to a pretty high standard, in terms of process and in terms of some of our measurables, so it’s not so much about the opponent.”

Canada plays Argentina tomorrow evening in their second contest of the Pan Am games with a 6pm tip-off time.

Game Notes: Indiana Fever’s Natalie Achonwa did not suit up for this one due to rest, according to CanadianWomen’s head coach Lisa Thomaidis.

Written by Jas Grewal

Photos courtesy of Reel Motion Imaging

Edited by Drew Ebanks