Fri, September 20, 2013

Canadian women fall to Australia in basketball

By CHRIS STEVENSON, QMI Agency


Canada's Krista Phillips (L) and Australia's Belinda Snell battle for the ball during their women's preliminary round Group B basketball match at the Basketball Arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games August 5, 2012. (REUTERS)


LONDON - The Canadian women’s basketball team, already having made a little history by advancing to the medal round, closed out their preliminary round in the Olympic tournament with a 72-63 loss to Australia Sunday.

Now, for the first time, Canada will be off to the Olympic quarterfinals. Canada finished the round robin with a 2-3 record, good for fourth place in Group B, and will likely face the powerhouse USA in their quarterfinal game Tuesday.

The USA is to play China later Sunday in a game that will decide top spot in Group A, but it would be a major upset for the Chinese (3-1) to take down the unbeaten Americans.

Canada missed its first four shots Sunday and were down 12-0 at one point and 35-22 at the half.

But the Canadians, who are a scrappy bunch, battled back in the second half to cut their 13-point deficit to just three points late in the third quarter and again with a minute to go.

Natalie Achonwa, just 19, came off the bench for Canada in that third quarter and had seven points and five rebounds at one point to help Canada get back into it.

Kim Smith led Canada with 17 points.

France beat Russia 65-64 to finish with a 5-0 record atop Group B. The Russians were 3-2.

chris.stevenson@sunmedia.ca

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