Taija Sta Maria poured in five three-pointers in a 17-point performance to lead Canada to a 70-36 victory over New Zealand on Wednesday, and into the quarterfinals of the U17 FIBA women’s World Cup.
Cassandre Prosper added eight points, nine rebounds, two assists, four steals and three blocks for the Canadians, who face host Hungary on Friday.
“Our team is feeling very confident and like we’re moving in the right direction going into the playoffs,” said Sta Maria, who had all of her threes in the first half. “I’m super proud of everyone. Everyone stepped up today and did what they had to do and it ended off with a great team win for us.
“We’re all feeling really connected and motivated and we’re determined. We’re ready to move on to the next game and finish what we started here at the World Cup.”
Every Canadian saw time on the floor, and 11 players scored in the win. Canada forced New Zealand into 36 turnovers, and had 27 steals in the game compared to just three for the Kiwis. The Canadians had a 43-9 advantage in points scored off turnovers.