The Canadian U23 Men’s National Team dropped a 93-87 decision to the US in the GLOBL Jam semifinals at Mattamy Athletic Center in Toronto on Saturday.
Keyonte George, 18, erupted for a tournament-high 37 points to lead the US in the win. The University of Baylor squad representing Team USA at the international basketball showcase will advance to the gold medal game on Sunday at 7 PM ET against Brazil.
Canada was led by a 25-point performance from Emanuel Miller and 14 points, six rebounds and six assists from Thomas Kennedy in the loss.
“The experience was great,” Kennedy said following Canada’s final game in the tournament. “Canada Basketball, the opportunity for development, playing on home soil, each one of the 12 guys [on our team] really took that to heart. We fell short of the goal we set out three weeks ago, to come out and win the inaugural tournament of GLOBL Jam, but there are plenty of takeaways. You don’t get many opportunities to wear Canada across your chest, so every time you do, you lock in and take away as much as you can.”
In addition to representing Canada, the Windsor Lancers forward was proud to represent U Sport all week as well.
“It’s an honor,” he said. “It’s an honor and a recognition of hard work. I like to pride myself in putting in as much work as those NCAA guys. Some people, for some reason, look down on U Sport. A thing like this, where I get to come out and represent Canada, be a part of the starting five for all four games, it just shows that U Sport’s homegrown talent is still there.”
Canada shot 49 per cent in the loss, compared to 52 per cent shooting for the US, who made 10-of-23 attempts from beyond the arc (43 per cent). Canada connected on 6-of-20 attempts (30 per cent) from deep. Canada had 19 turnovers in the game, as the US held a 23-15 advantage in points scored off of turnovers.
The US led Canada by four after the opening 10 minutes and by 12 points at the half, behind a 23-point first-half effort from George.
Canada came out to start the second half with their defensive intensity dialed all the way up as they worked both ends of the floor to force their way back into the game.
A put-back bucket for Leonard Miller and then a three-point play for E. Miller brought Canada within six with 5:30 to go in the third. L. Miller found Charles Bediako under the rim for an easy two to get Canada within four. As Canada continued to force turnovers and earn extra possessions, E. Miller capped an 11-0 run by Canada to tie the game with 3:33 remaining in the third.
Canada forced nine turnovers from the US in the third while, winning the quarter 20-10. A floater from Marcus Carr to close the third brought Canada within two points, 68-66, heading into the fourth.
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Carr picked up where he left off, tying the game with another floater to open the fourth. After the teams traded baskets, E. Miller again tied the game on a layup with 7:12 remaining. After Kennedy made one of two free throws with 6:50 remaining, Canada had its first lead since the 23-22 mark of the first quarter and E. Miller made it a three-point lead with 6:29 to go.
It was all the US from there as the team went on an 11-3 run to take back control. Back-to-back layups from George extended the lead to 86-81 for the US with 2:03 remaining. Canada wouldn’t get any closer than four the rest of the way through.