TAIPEI, Taiwan – The United States topped Canada, 85-70, behind an unstoppable performance from senior Ieshia Small Saturday evening in the World University Games in Taipei, Taiwan.
Small made her first 11 shots and ended up 11-for-12 from the floor for 25 points with eight rebounds, three assists, a block and a steal. Sophomore Kaila Charles scored 20 points with five boards. Sophomore Stephanie Jones chipped in 14 points and eight rebounds off the bench. Michigan State grad Tori Jankoska and sophomore Blair Watson each added 10 points.
“I was really proud of our response today,” head coach Brenda Frese said. “I thought we came out aggressive and wanted to make a statement, especially on the glass. Ieshia was sensational for us.”
The U.S. jumped out to a 6-0 lead in the first 90 seconds, with four of the points from Small. She and Charles scored USA Team’s first 12 points. USA led 26-15 at the end of the first quarter.
Canada cut the U.S.’s lead to two in the second quarter, but threes by Jankoska and Jones held them off. Small added 11 points in the period to help the U.S. lead 46-41 at the break.
The Canadians outscored the U.S. 17-11 in the third period to take a one-point lead at 58-57 into the final quarter. The U.S. responded as Jankoska and Jones scored the USA’s first 10 points in the fourth quarter to lead 67-62 three minutes in.
Down the stretch, Watson went 4-for-4 from the free throw line in the final 32 seconds to seal the win.
Prior to Saturday’s matchup, Canada led the tournament field in rebounding, but the Americans won the battle on the glass, 46-35.
In its final World University Games contest, the USA will take on Sweden Monday at 5:30 a.m. ET at the Heping Basketball Gymnasium.
The Maryland women’s basketball team was selected by the United States International University Sports Federation (US-IUSF) to represent the United States in the World University Games.
The World University Games will conclude Aug. 30 with the closing ceremony. The World University Games are held every other year and are organized by the International University Sports Federation (FISU). The event is a multi-sport competition open to men and women who are between the ages of 17 and 24, and are or have been within the past year, a student at a college or university.