Team USA women’s basketball continued its impressive run through pre-Olympic warmup games, beating Canada 83-43. Playing in front of a UConn-friendly crowd at Webster Bank Arena in Bridgeport, Geno Auriemma went with an all-UConn starting lineup and it worked out pretty well.
Diana Taurasi had a game-high 14 points while Sue Bird dished out four assists, also a game high. Former Huskies hit all of Team USA’s three point attempts, with Taurasi going 3-of-7 and Breanna Stewart hitting her lone attempt, and eight assists.
Kia Nurse, a rising UConn junior, earned the start for Canada but largely struggled on the offensive side. She went 0-for-3 from the field and did not register an assist. She turned the ball over three times but was able to grab four rebounds, two of which were offensive.
From the jump, it was clear who the better team was. Stewart won the opening tip and after 10 seconds, USA had already scored. Taurasi took a feed from Bird off the tip and buried a three from the right wing. The Canadians were able to hold the Americans from scoring for the next 3:25, but they were only able to score two points themselves.
For about the first six minutes of the opening quarter, the Canadians held on, but the Americans closed the quarter on a 14-2 run, holding Canada to 12% shooting from the field.
The second quarter was more of the same, with Team USA outscoring Canada 25-14 to head into the half with a 44-20 lead. Former UConn players scored 18 of their 44 points while shooting a collective 8-17 from the field. Taurasi was second in scoring with eight and Bird led the team with four assists.
Kia Nurse had a rough first half for Canada, shooting 0-3 from the field. She turned the ball over twice and grabbed a rebound as well.
As for the second half, it was second verse, same as the first. The U.S. scored within the first 10 seconds, though this time it was courtesy of a Sue Bird jumper. Former UConn players scored the first 13 points for the US of the third quarter as Team USA took a 40-point lead into the fourth quarter.
The starters rested for the majority of the fourth quarter with the U.S. holding onto its massive lead and taking home the win. They have one more game before departing for Rio de Janiero, against Australia on July 31. Tip off is at 4 p.m.
Kia Nurse and Team Canada will play France on July 31 at 1:30 p.m. in their final game before the Olympics.