Nayo Raincock=Ekunwe

Nayo Raincock=Ekunwe

Penticton connection to Rio Olympics helps basketball team to 3-0 record

Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe, daughter of Penticton resident Denny Raincock, has started all three basketball games for Canada.

Courtesy of Basketball.ca

The Canadian Women’s National Team is undefeated at the 2016 Rio Olympics after a 68-58 win over Senegal.

Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe, daughter of Penticton resident Denny Raincock, has started all three games and scored nine points in the win over Senegal. (read more on Raincock here: Penticton resident excited to watch daughter at Rio Olympics)

The win means this is Canada’s best result in Olympic group play, beating their previous best of 2-4 at the 2012 London Olympics.

“Senegal’s a tough team to play, we anticipated that coming in. They were going to give us some difficulty with their physicality and athleticism so we’re happy to come out with the win,” said Lisa Thomaidis, head coach of the Women’s National Team.

Tamara Tatham scored 13 points with 10 rebounds in Canada’s third-straight win. Kia Nurse scored a team-high 14 points.

Canada’s starting lineup included Miah-Marie Langlois, Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe, Kim Gaucher, Tamara Tatham and Miranda Ayim.

Canada’s third game at the 2016 Rio Olympics started off as a defensive showing, with Senegal leading 2-0 after three minutes of play. A Kim Gaucher lay-up would kick-start the Canadian offence. The squad was relentless in attacking the rim, earning eight free throws. Canada led 17-10 after 10 minutes.

The second quarter played out much like the first. Canada went on a 7-0 run after a slow scoring start to the period, prompting a Senegal timeout. Senegal would bounce back and trim their deficit to six, but Canada created some transition scores to finish the quarter with a 33-24 lead.

Canada maintained the first half’s defensive intensity but found their offensive rhythm in the third quarter. Back-to-back threes from Langlois and Gaucher created space for others to cut, leading to shots at the rim. Canada’s 12-4 run through the middle of the third quarter was key. The squad held a 55-41 advantage after three quarters.

Senegal would attempt a comeback of their own in the fourth quarter. They would trim the deficit to seven, but Canada steadied after a timeout with three minutes left. A Nurse steal and layup with just over 90 seconds left sealed the result.

“At the end of the day, it’s great to be 3-0 at the Olympic Games. I think we have a lot that we can improve upon after that game,” said Kim Gaucher.

Canada’s next game is against the U.S. on Aug. 12. Tip-off is set for 11:30 a.m. and the game will be on TSN.