Powered by four double-digit scoring performances, Team Canada got the 85-56 victory over Senegal in the final game of group play in the 2021 FIBA U19 World Cup. The Canadians finish up the round robin with a record of 3-0 after winning their last two games relatively easily and have secured the group’s top seed heading into knockout play.
Tuesday’s contest was officially brought to an end when Canada closed the first quarter on a 13-1 run over the final three minutes and change capped by a Caleb Houstan three-pointer right before the horn. That had the Canadians up 27-13, and Senegal would effectively never challenge them again. The lead grew to 24, 50-26, at halftime, and sure, Senegal narrowed the margin a little bit towards the end of the third and the beginning of the fourth, but we’re talking about whether or not the lead was above or below 20 points here.
Zach Edey scored 18 points to lead the way for Canada, but we’re here for Olivier-Maxence prosper updates. The Marquette transfer started for the third time in the tournament here, and played over 27 minutes. He scored eight points on 2-for-7 shooting, which is not super awesome, but he hit one of his three long range attempts (totally fine) and three of his four free throw attempts (good). Prosper also added four rebounds, two assists, and a block to the proceedings.
I’d like to point you to this clip from FIBA with one of Prosper’s two buckets on the day. It’s the third of three straight buckets by the Canadians:
@CanBball are turning up the heat on Senegal! Huge finishes on 3 straight possessions! #FIBAU19 | @zach_edey @olmaxpros8 pic.twitter.com/MESfJssrm4— FIBA (@FIBA) July 6, 2021
Prosper finishes up the three games of group play averaging 7.3 points, 4.0 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game. He’s playing a little bit more than half the game — 22.9 minutes — on average, and considering that head coach Paul Weir had to coach his team with the idea of every game being one side or the other of a back-to-back so far, that’s a pretty good amount of run.
Here’s the official FIBA highlight package for the game, and remember, you’re watching #8 in red out there:
Up Next: Well, right now we know that Canada will play a Round of 16 knockout game tomorrow, July 7th, and we know it will be against whoever finishes last in Group B. That’s up for debate at this point, I think, as there are still games going on as I type this. Right now, with 20 minutes left to go before tipoff, Iran is 0-2 in Group B action, and but they’re playing Puerto Rico, which is just 1-1. Latvia already finished up at 1-2 as well after a 71-70 loss to Serbia in their final group play game. If Puerto Rico wins, Canada will get Iran. If Iran wins, I have no idea how the tiebreakers will shake out.
Also, that game is officially undetermined as far as a starting time goes. Canada played Senegal at 4am Central time, but that Iran/Puerto Rico game is starting at 1pm Central. Could be anywhere in there, honestly. We’ll update both this AND the official schedule page when things are made official.
UPDATE! Iran beat Puerto Rico, 81-68, and thus tiebreakers land Puerto Rico as the fourth place team in Group B. Thus, Canada will play them in what will be the final game of the Round of 16, with tipoff set for 1pm Central Time on July 7th.