Canada routs Colombia 74-40 at AmeriCup women's basketball tournament

SAN JUAN, Puerto Rico — Kayla Alexander had a game-high 14 points and nine rebounds as Canada remained unbeaten at the FIBA AmeriCup women's basketball tournament with a 74-40 win over Colombia on Tuesday.

Fourth-ranked Canada finished the preliminary stage in top spot in Group A at 4-0 and will face the Dominican Republic in Thursday's quarterfinals.

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The final is Saturday.

The Canadians are playing in their first tournament in 16 months as they tune up for the upcoming Tokyo Olympics.

Alexander was efficient on offence, shooting six-of-eight from the floor, and added three steals on defence.

Laeticia Amihere and Shaina Pellington added 10 points each for Canada, while Jamie Scott and Miranda Ayim led the team with four assists each.

"I thought tonight we probably had some of the best movement on offence that we had, getting a little bit deeper and sharing the ball. That was a real positive," head coach Lisa Thomaidis said.

"I think our defence is still a work in progress that’s coming along. Our communication is getting there again. We’re still working to get back to our Canadian standard, but each game we’re growing a little bit and that’s nice to see."

Yaneth Arias led Colombia with nine points.

Canada rolled through its four group-stage games, scoring 155 more points than it allowed.

The top four teams advance to World Cup qualifying tournaments, Feb. 6-14, 2021. The top three from each qualifier earn a berth in the World Cup, in Sydney, Australia, Sept. 22-Oct. 1, 2022.

The Canadians are without WNBA players Natalie Achonwa, Kia Nurse and Bridget Carleton. The three are expected to join Canada in Tokyo, though Achonwa is out indefinitely with a sprained the medical collateral ligament (MCL) in her right knee.

Following the AmeriCup, the Canadian women will return to Tampa, Fla., to continue Olympic preparations.

The women normally call Edmonton their home base, but couldn't gather there due to COVID-19 protocols and quarantine rules, and so are training out of the Toronto Raptors' temporary home.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published June 15, 2021.

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