United States 81, Canada 51 - The Americans clinched the top spot in Group B by cruising to an easy victory over their neighbors to the north on Friday afternoon.
It wasn’t all bad for the Canadians. They were only down 18-16 after the first quarter, and they only lost the fourth quarter by six points. The middle half of the game? Hooooo. Canada went just 1-for-10 from the field and committed nine turnovers as the U.S. cruised out to a 14 point lead at halftime, and then that boosted to 24 by the end of the third quarter.
The United States spread the ball around to destroy Canada, with Maya Moore and Diana Taurasi topping the scoresheet with 12 points each. Canada was led by just eight points from Miranda Ayim.
Katherine Plouffe had six points in just over 12 minutes of action and chipped in a steal, too. Thanks to Spain torching Senegal on Friday, the Spain-Canada game on Sunday will decide who will finish second in the group behind Team USA.
United States 94, Serbia 91 - Team USA got a second straight scare in group play, and this one was closer than the last one. Yes, officially, Serbia never led in this game. But when Milos Teodosic canned a pair of free throws with 1:18 left, the Serbian team had officially bounced all the way back from trailing 27-9 to trail by just three points.
Things got extra tight when Kyrie Irving, Paul George, and Kevin Durant all missed shots in the final minute that could have iced the game, but Serbia couldn’t find the bottom of the net either. Bogdan Bogdanovich had one final attempt to tie the game, but he missed his three point attempt off the front iron with two seconds left. Durant wrapped up the rebound and the US escaped the team that they had beaten 129-92 in the 2014 FIBA World Cup championship game.
Six Americans scored in double digits, led by 15 from Irving, while Serbia got a 25 point outing from Nikola Jokic. Marquette’s very own Jimmy Butler scored nine points on 2-of-4 shooting and four free throws. Butler also contributed a steal in his 15 minutes of action.
France 96, Venezuela 56 - This one just slowly drifted away from the South American squad. In fact, the drift was so slow, Venezuela actually led 14-12 with 3:15 left after a bucket from Gregory Echenique, everybody’s favorite Creighton Bluejay. Nestor Colmaneres put Venezuela back out in front, 18-17, with less than 90 seconds left in the frame, and things looked like we might have ourselves an interesting game.
Then they trailed France by five at the end of the period and by 12 at the half. The wheels completely fell off in the fourth quarter, as Les Blues scored 30 points against just nine from Venezuela. Welp. Venezuela hasn’t been eliminated from the quarterfinals yet, but they’re going to have to beat the Australian team that gave the U.S. fits and hope Serbia beats China.
Echenique led Venezuela’s scoring with 12 points, while France had six players in double digits. Joffrey Lauvergne topped the French squad with 17 points.
David Cubillan knocked down two triples to finish with six points in 21 minutes in this game. Cooby also dished two assists and came up with a steal.
All times Central
Sunday, August 14
12:15pm: USA vs France (NBC Sports Network)
3:45pm: Canada vs Spain (Basketball Channel at 6:45pm)
5pm: Venezuela vs Australia (Basketball Channel)