September 30, 2022 

Daily Briefing — Sept. 30, 2022: China, USA advance to the World Cup Final after colossally different matches

China snuck a two-point victory over Australia, while the USA bulldozed Canada with a 40-point blowout.

Happy Friday! Welcome to The Next’s Daily Briefing, featuring the daily Watch List and the World Cup Recap. The final day of the 2022 FIBA women’s World Cup is finally here, following two semi-final matches that could not have been more different. After the USA took Canada to the moon and back on a massive 40-point win, China and Australia played the most contentious match of the World Cup so far. China came out victorious, with an enormous performance from Han Xu, among others, to thank for it. The Next’s Scott Mammoser brings you the scene from after the semi-final matches, continuing our coverage of the World Cup.

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Next, read:

  • Our Natalie Heavren returns with another tale from the WBL, this time detailing the career of San Francisco’s own Anita Ortega.
  • Our Scott Mammoser explores how Aces and Sun players adapted to the World Cup atmosphere just days after wrapping up the WNBA Finals.
  • Alexa Philippou, who has been reporting live from Sydney all World Cup long (and who is an excellent Twitter follow, in my opinion), breaks down how Alyssa Thomas has thrived in Cheryl Reeve’s edition of Team USA.

Watch list, Friday, Sept. 30

(All times in Eastern)

Bronze medal game: Canada vs Australia, 11 p.m., Courtside1891, ESPN+

Gold medal game: USA vs China, 2 a.m., ESPN

World Cup recap, semifinals

USA beat Canada, 83–43. USA leapt out ahead on a 15–0 run and maintained their double-digit lead through the final minute of play. CAN made just 16 of their 73 shots, with not one player scoring over eight points as they struggled to get in any offensive action against the stifling USA defense. Breanna Stewart led USA with 17 points on 6-for-11 shooting (4–5 3pt., 1–2 FT), eight rebounds, three assists and three blocks. A’ja Wilson logged a double-double for USA with 15 points on 4-for-7 shooting (7–7 FT) and 12 rebounds, along with three steals and two blocks. Laeticia Amihere led CAN with eight points on 3-for-10 shooting (1–1 3pt.) and three rebounds. Also for CAN, Bridget Carleton had six points on 3-for-7 shooting, five rebounds, two steals and two blocks.

China beat Australia, 61–59. In a thrilling 40 minutes of basketball, AUS and CHN put together a game Her Hoop Stats’ Gabe Ibrahim would later describe as one “they will write songs about.” AUS took a slight lead early, but CHN would cut the lead to one by the opening minutes of the second quarter. CHN would take an eight-point lead into halftime, but by the early fourth, AUS had closed the gap. With 45 seconds left to play, the game sat tied at 59 apiece.

CHN took the ball up the court and ran down the clock, looking for an open lane to the basket. AUS’ tough inside defense prevented any easy looks, but an ill-advised foul by Sami Whitcomb sent CHN’s Siyu Wang to the foul line with just three seconds left to play. Wang sank both game-winning shots, ultimately securing CHN its first World Cup finals appearance since 1994.

Han Xu led CHN with a massive double-double of 19 points on 8-for-10 shooting (3–3 FT) and 11 rebounds (four offensive), along with two steals and five blocks. Also for CHN, Liwei Yang notched 18 points on 7-for-12 shooting (2–2 3pt.), four assists and four steals. Whitcomb led AUS with 15 points on 5-for-16 shooting (3–10 3pt., 2–5 FT), two rebounds, three assists and two steals. Also for AUS, Stephanie Talbot logged a double-double with 12 points on 5-for-13 shooting (1–3 3pt.) and 10 rebounds (three offensive) along with three assists and three steals.

Written by Isabel Rodrigues

Isabel Rodrigues (she/her) is a contributing editor for The Next from upstate New York. She occasionally covers 3x3 and labor in women's basketball.

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