Thursday, December 1 2022

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Kristy Wallace of Australia passes the ball past Canada’s Natalie Achonwa during their bronze medal game at the Women’s Basketball World Cup in Sydney, Australia, Saturday, Oct. 1, 2022. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

PA

Lauren Jackson capped her international basketball career with another bronze medal scoring 30 points to lead Australia to a 95-65 win over Canada on Saturday in the Women’s World Cup third-place game.

Jackson returned to the Opals after retiring in 2016 due to injuries. Jackson said on social media on Saturday that this would be her last match for Australia and that she was “lucky to have this opportunity to represent Australia and say goodbye”. I didn’t have that luck all those years ago.

She has played 43 World Cup games in her career, equaling Brazil’s Janeth Arcain for most all-time. Jackson, 41, won three bronze medals and led the Opals to their only gold in 2006.

Australia (6-2) had just suffered a disappointing last-minute loss to China in the medal round. After a slow start, Jackson kickstarted the team by scoring nine points in the opening 20 minutes as Australia led 51-43 at the break. Kia Nurse kept Canada in the game with 17 first half points.

Jackson then took over by scoring 12 of his points in the third quarter as Australia extended the lead to 71-54. Jackson, who had been used sparingly for most of the tournament, unleashed a series of post moves reminiscent of her dominant WNBA days playing for Seattle.

His three-point play with 1:07 left in the third gave Australia a 17-point advantage – its biggest lead of the game to that point.

Australian coach Sandy Brondello, who played with Jackson on the national team, handed Jackson with just under 6 minutes left and took her to a cheering ovation with 2:22 remaining as she struck two free throws to end his evening. Jackson received hugs from her teammates.

Canada (4-3) was seeking its first medal since 1986 when the North American country won the bronze medal. Even with the loss, the Canadians advanced further than they had at any World Cup in 36 years.

Nurse finished with 19 points to lead Canada.

These two teams met in pool with Australia coming away with a 75-72 win that helped them earn the group seed.

TIPS :

It was the seventh time a host nation has played for a World Cup medal. The only other country to win a game was Spain in 2018 when they beat Belgium for the bronze medal. … Jackson became the all-time leading scorer in World Cup medal round games, surpassing her friend Diana Taurasi’s mark of 63. Jackson finished with 79.

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More AP women’s basketball: https://apnews.com/hub/womens-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Sports

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