RIO DE JANEIRO – The Women’s National Team finished third in Group B at the Rio 2016 Olympics after falling to Spain 73-60. Canada will play France on Tuesday, August 16.
“It’s a long tournament and we just have to leave this one behind us. We have to be at our best come the game against France,” said Lisa Thomaidis, head coach of the Women’s National Team on Basketball.ca.
“France is an opponent we know very well. We’ve played them a number of times over the last few years and we’ll be well-prepared for them.”
The starting line-up for Canada was Miah-Marie Langlois, Kim Gaucher, Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe, whose mother lives in Penticton, Tamara Tatham and Miranda Ayim.
Nirra Fields led Canada in scoring with 14 points while also grabbing four rebounds. Spain was led by Alba Torrens, who scored 20 points with five rebounds. For full box score, click here.
With second place on the line, both teams came out with intensity. Spain was physical and won the early rebounding battle to set up putback opportunities. Canada’s offence had its moments in the quarter, with excellent ball movement leading to shots at the rim. After one quarter, Spain led 17-16.
Canada’s early offensive success dried up in the second quarter. Behind strong rim protection, Spain went on a 9-4 run over the first six minutes of the period. But a Raincock-Ekunwe lay-up provided a spark on offence and Canada clawed back to keep the quarter even until Spain hit a three at the buzzer. Spain led 33-29 at the half.
Spain’s 12-2 run through the middle of the quarter put Canada down 12. Turnovers by the Canadian squad led to easy scores for Spain. Nurse, Achonwa and Fields came off the bench to key a pair of 6-0 runs, bringing Canada back within 2. Heading into the fourth quarter, Spain led 49-47.
Canada held the momentum going into the final period, but Spain quickly grabbed it back. The Spanish dug in and stymied Canada’s attack, holding them scoreless for the opening five minutes of the quarter. The team would not back down, increasing the tempo to try for a comeback. The effort was not enough and Spain won 73-60.
The Women’s National Team looks ahead to the quarterfinals, where they will play France on Tuesday live on TSN. Game time is to be determined, follow @CanBball for updates.