FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2022: Lauren Jackson’s vintage performance leads Australia past Canada for bronze

SYDNEY — She’s the Aussie GOAT for a reason.

Lauren Jackson punctuated her remarkable comeback for the Opals, saving her best for last as she led Australia to a bronze medal at the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup.

The Opals took down Canada in the third-place game 95-65, with Jackson turning back the clock with a dominant performance, recording 30 points, seven rebounds and two steals in 21 minutes on court. 

“I’m over the moon that we got the bronze medal, that we ended the tournament this way in front of our home crowd,” Jackson told reporters postgame. 

Australia took an eight-point lead at half-time, with Kia Nurse keeping Canada in the contest, scoring 17 points in the first half, before the Opals turned the screws in the third quarter, outscoring Canada 20-11.

Jackson was deep in her bag, hitting fadeaway after fadeaway as she dominated on the low block, scoring 13 points in the third alone. 

The only other time a player had scored 30 points in a World Cup medal game came in 2002….and that player was Lauren Jackson (31 vs. Korea). 

Jackson, who is now tied for the most games played at the World Cup (43) all-time, added another piece of history, eclipsing Diana Taurasi’s record for the most points scored in medal games.

In front of her home fans, Jackson got the fitting national team send-off she deserved after injuries forced her to retire in 2016.

“This journey has been the most humbling but incredible ten months of my life,” Jackson added.

“I said to Sandy [Brondello] after the game, thank you for selecting me because it’s given me an opportunity to play the sport I love in front of Australia again and to say goodbye this way is just magnificent.

“I couldn’t have imagined it.”

Jackson was the main event for the Opals, but she got plenty of help as Steph Talbot stuffed the stat sheet with 16 points, eight rebounds and eight assists, while Sara Blicavs added 12 points and four rebounds.

Kia Nurse led Canada with 19 points, but was held in check in the second half only scoring two points. Nirra Fields added 12 points, four rebounds, and four assists while Natalie Achonwa chipped in with 10 points.

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