U.S. women's wheelchair basketball defeats Canada to advance to semifinals

Lindsey Zurbrugg and Team USA celebrate their victory over Team Canada in the Women's Wheelchair Basketball Quarter Final on day 7 of the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games at Ariake Arena on August 31, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan.
Naomi Baker/Getty Images

The United States women's wheelchair basketball team is one win away from playing for a gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Paralympic Games. 

After dropping their first game of the tournament to the Netherlands 68-58 back on August 25, Team USA has been on a dominating roll. They defeated Spain and Algeria by a combined 75 points, while dropping a close one to China, 42-41.

On Tuesday, the squad took on their most bitter rival, Canada, with a spot in the semifinals on the line. 

Thanks to 19 points, 5 assists and 9 rebounds from three-time Paralympian Rose Hollermann and 18 points, 9 rebounds from four-time Paralympian Natalie Schneider, Team USA routed our friends to the north, 63-48. 

Hillsboro, Oregon born and current Portland resident Lindsey Zurbrugg contributed 10 points and 4 rebounds in 40 minutes on the court. 

Zurbrugg is currently enrolled at the University of Alabama. She was paralyzed after attending a basketball camp where she injured her back, exacerbating a medical condition called “tethered spinal cord” that she was unknowingly born with. The 2020 Paralympics are her first Paralympics. 

The U.S. led the game for all but 17 seconds. Team USA entered halftime with a ten point lead and did not look back at their North American rivals. 

For the game, Team USA shot 43% (27-for-63) from the field while shooting 71% in the paint (15-for-21). They dominated the boards grabbing 41 rebounds to Canada's 31. The highlight for the game was the collective defensive effort made by the U.S. and their ability to hold Canada to just 34% shooting.


Up next for the United States is a rematch with China in the semifinals on Thursday. 

The U.S. women’s wheelchair basketball team has finished with a medal at eight of the 13 Paralympic Games at which the sport has been contested, winning gold at three of the last four games.