Cory Joseph Leads Canada to 82-60 Win over Senegal in 2019 FIBA World Cup

Gianni Verschueren@ReverschPassFeatured ColumnistSeptember 5, 2019

Canada's Khem Birch (R), Senegal's Xane d'Almeida (L) and Canada's Cory Joseph (2nd L) fight for the ball during the Basketball World Cup Group H game between Canada and Senegal in Dongguan on September 5, 2019. (Photo by Ye Aung Thu / AFP)        (Photo credit should read YE AUNG THU/AFP/Getty Images)
YE AUNG THU/Getty Images

Canada finished their Group H campaign at the 2019 FIBA World Cup on a high note on Thursday, beating Senegal 82-60. Cory Joseph led the way with 24 points.

Senegal dominated the first quarter, taking full advantage of a dreadful shooting start from Canada. The Road Warriors recovered quickly, however, and pulled away decisively in the second half.

Both teams had already been eliminated from contention after losses against Australia and Lithuania.

Senegal started their final group-stage match on fire from the field, building a quick 22-9 lead thanks to some hot shooting. Mouhammad Faye was the star man early, knocking down three of four shots from beyond the arc:

Basketball World Cup @FIBAWC

@JockLandale @Khem_Birch @CanBball Mouhammad Faye: 3/4 3PTS in the 1st Quarter 🌧 #CANSEN #SenegalGotGame @FSBBOFFICIEL 🇸🇳 https://t.co/O2p3KMDWer

Their strong start was aided by some dreadful shooting from the Road Warriors, who settled for far too many poor shots. Sports writer Marco A. Munno shared their shot chart from the first quarter, which did not look pretty:

Marco A. Munno @MarcoAMunno

#CANSEN 1° q. 🇨🇦: 4/12 2-pts 1/8 3-pts #FIBAWC #MondialiTipo https://t.co/PxJxaFQ52F

Joseph started to find his range in the second quarter, however, and the Canadian team decided to ride the hot hand. The Sacramento Kings guard had the green light to fire three-pointers at will, and slowly the Road Warriors started to turn things around. At half-time, they led by a single point, 33-32.

Senegal tried to emphasise buckets in transition early in the second half, leading to this wonderful score from former New York Knicks forward Maurice Ndour:

Basketball World Cup @FIBAWC

@JockLandale @Khem_Birch @CanBball @FSBBOFFICIEL 🙌🔨 Lamine Sambe & Maurice Ndour combine for the alley-oop! #CANSEN #SenegalGotGame @FSBBOFFICIEL @TooHotFiDem https://t.co/Pjn5MZJEB5

The outside shots stopped falling for the African side, however, perhaps best illustrated by Faye's struggles: After hitting his first three of four, he missed his next five attempts from beyond the arc.

Joseph made six of 12 three-pointers and finished with 24 points, along with three assists. Kevin Pangos and Melvin Ejim also stepped up their game, collecting 13 and 11 points, respectively.

Second-chance points were the key to Canada's surge in the second half that ultimately secured the win, with the team holding a double-digit advantage in offensive rebounds. They were also far more effective in transition, giving up just two points off turnovers.

Both teams will move on to the classification round.