United States stays perfect, routs Canada

Sep 29, 2007 - 8:50 AM VALDIVIA, Chile (Ticker) The United States put away Canada early and went on to capture an 85-37 victory in its third and final preliminary round game on Friday afternoon at the FIBA Americas Championship.

Tina Thompson, who plays for the WNBA's Houston Comets, led the squad scoring 14 points and DeLisha Milton-Jones of the Washington Mystics and Candace Parker from the University of Tennessee each chipped in 12 points as the U.S. led from start to finish.

The U.S. (3-0) advanced to Saturday's medal semifinal game against Argentina, who defeated Chile, 66-63, in overtime on Friday.

"I thought we did a good job pushing the tempo and then understanding the need to take care of the basketball as we went along," U.S. coach Anne Donovan said. "One of our focuses tonight was to not put them on the free throw line as much as we had done in the past two games and we also did that."

Behind six points apiece from Parker and Thompson, the U.S. stunned Canada (1-2) with a 14-2 opening run. Canada came to life after that and put together its best five minutes of the day.

The U.S.'s neighbors to the north fought their way back into the game by outscoring the American's 11-3 and by the end of the first stanza the red, white and blue's lead was cut to 17-13.

However, the U.S.'s fastbreaks, athleticism and depth were just too much for Canada to handle after that. Receiving all of its points from the bench, the U.S. went ahead 28-15 in just over four minutes of play in the second quarter.

Canada had no answer as wave after wave of substitutions by the defending Olympic champs never let up the defensive intensity and by halftime the game was well in hand, 38-19.

"We seemed to lose our focus a little bit," Donovan said. "That's a natural tendency, but we haven't seen a lot of that from this team. The best thing is that we came back and held them to six points in the next quarter and nine points in the third and fourth quarters. We seemed to get it back and keep it from there."

Outscoring Canada 21-6 in the second quarter and 19-9 in the third, the U.S. rolled through the fourth quarter 23-9 for its third win in as many days.

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