Nirra Fields fist pumps her teammate during a basketball match at the FIBA World Cup quarterfinals against Puerto RicoFIBA

Team Canada is off to the semi-finals at the Women’s Basketball World Cup for the first time in 36 years

Team Canada has reached the semi-finals at the 2022 Women’s Basketball World Cup in Sydney, Australia after defeating Puerto Rico 79-60 on Thursday in the quarters.

This is the first time in 36 years that the Canadian women’s team has qualified for a chance to claim a World Cup medal. In 1986, Canada took third place.

In Canada’s quarter-final win, Kia Nurse put up 17 points. This tournament marks the return to play for the 26-year-old who was forced to rest the past 11 months after getting surgery for a knee injury.

Four of Nurse’s teammates also collected more than 10 points throughout the game. Bridget Carleton added 15 points, Natalie Achonwa and Laeticia Amihere 12 points each and Shay Colley 11 points.

From the first 10 minutes of play, the Canadians built a solid 15-point lead claiming control early on in the game. After the second quarter, Canada was still well ahead, leading 44-23.

Nurse scored her fourth three-pointer of the game early in the third quarter. Puerto Rico’s offence tried to fight back in the third outscoring Canada 19-16 in the quarter, but it wasn’t enough to turn the tide of the game as Canada entered the final quarter with an 18 point lead.

Canada maintained their lead on the scoreboard in the final 10 minutes of the game — scoring 19 points to their opponents’ 18. They finished the game with four turnovers, five blocks and eight steals.

READ: Canada to face Puerto Rico in quarterfinals of the FIBA World Cup

The squad is now just one victory away from a podium finish for the first time since 1986. They will face the Australians in the semifinals on Friday.

The top team will be crowned in the final on October 1 when they will claim gold and the a coveted qualification spot for Paris 2024.