Canada dominates Japan in opener

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Michel Belanger

July 8, 2013, KAZAN, Russia (Team Canada) (ISN) – Lindsay Ledingham of Regina scored a match-high 19 points in only 18 minutes on the court as the Canadian women’s basketball team routed Japan 76-48 in its Universiade opener, Monday morning. 

Up 18-6 after the opening quarter, 42-20 at halftime and 63-32 after three periods, Canada dominated in every facet of the game, including a 45-24 advantage in rebounds and 54 per cent shooting from the floor (27-50), compared to 26% for its rivals (10-38). 

Team Canada website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/universiade/summer/2013 

Team Canada Twitter: @CDNUniversiade | #gocanada

Summer Universiade website: www.kazan2013.com/en 

The red and white was in control from start to finish and the result was never in doubt. The Canucks led by at least 19 points the entire second half and were up by as much as 33 early in the fourth quarter. They had three 10-0 run on the afternoon. 

Ledingham, a six-foot forward from the University of Regina, was perfect on eight field goal attempts and missed her only shot of the contest from the foul line, where she went 3-for-4. 

“We played well, we had size on them,” said Ledingham, one of two team members returning from the 2011 FISU Games in China, along with guard Miah-Marie Langlois. “Tomorrow will be a whole different game. The Ukraine has some inside presence like Japan didn’t.” 

Canada plays Ukraine tomorrow at 10 a.m. local time (2 a.m. ET) and rounds out pool play against Taiwan Wednesday at 8:30 p.m. (12:30 p.m. ET). Taiwan claimed silver in 2011.  

“This result is not really a surprise. We’ve been building towards playing well and the girls have been outstanding, they’ve really learned to play well together. I thought Japan would be a little bit better of a shooting team but we did a great job defensively to take them out of their rhythm,” said head coach Fabian McKenzie, who was an assistant with the Universiade squad in 2009 in Belgrade, Serbia. “Lindsay was a workhorse as usual today, that’s what she’s known for in the CIS. She’s a very bright player, hits crucial shots at crucial times. She knows the offence well, she’s very smart. I love her, absolutely love her. 

“As the old cliché goes, it’s one game at a time for us. Now, Japan is in the books. Ukraine and Taiwan are both very talented. Taiwan won silver in 2011 and Ukraine has a WBNA draft pick on its roster, who was European junior player of the year. So we’ve got some work to do, but we’re ready.”  

Dalyce Emmerson of Prince Albert, Sask. (University of Saskatchewan) and Kris Young of North Vancouver (UBC) chipped in offensively with 12 and eight points, respectively, while Taijah Campbell of Ajax, Ont. (Virgina Tech), grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds. 

“It was a good game for us. It was nice to start the tournament with a win, obviously. It’s nice to have that first game under our belt,” Young said. “They were a fast team but we managed to contain them and use our size to our advantage. Overall, it was just a good game.”  

BOXSCORE: Canada vs Japan