An expected result to open the worlds
A guy arrives at the office, clicks on website and sees Canada only down six to Australia in the third quarter at the worlds and the echo of Al Michaels reverberates.
Alas, no miracles.
The Canadian women hung tough with the Aussies for 25 minutes or so but then the cream, as they say, rose to the top and Australia pulled away for a 72-47 win to open the world championships.
No shame, or surprise, there actually. The Opals are outstanding with Lauren Jackson and Kristi Harrower each getting 13 and if Australia isn’t among the medalists when this thing’s all over, I’ll be shocked.
For Canada? Well, they got in a run, probably lost any jitters they might have had and the chance to advance out of the first round was always going to come down to games against China and Belarus and they come up Friday and Saturday.
A couple of hopefully now-familiar names led the women. Kim Smith had 11 and Teresa Gabriele had eight. Canada only got up 30 two-point field goal attempts and only made nine, which is not so good; and going 3-12 from three-point range was an issue, too.
Anyway, with Belarus having beaten China earlier today, 68-57, it looks like Friday’s Canada-China game (7 a.m. Toronto time) could be the one to determine who finishes third in the group and gets to move on.
We’ll be chatting with head coach Allison McNeill a little bit later today to flesh out the details of the game.