In a very tight contest from start to finish, Canada was unable to knock off the eighth-ranked French team, as Canada’s late fourth quarter comeback fell short, 64-60 early Wednesday morning.
The loss puts Canada’s basketball record to 1-2 in the London Olympics, and forces the team into a position where they must win Friday’s game against FIBA Americas zone rival, Brazil. The Canadians need this win to put them into the group B quarter-finals.
Canada was led by Hamilton’s Shona Thorburn who was able to follow up her solid performance versus Great Britain on Monday by scoring a game-high 17 points, while recording four rebounds and three assists in the loss to France. Natalie Achonwa (Guelph, ON) scored 14 points and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds in the game.
Mission’s Kim Smith netted eight points, while Gabriele was kept to zero.
France came out from the opening whistle ready to go, as they quickly grabbed the lead from Canada and opened the game on an 11-4 run. The game began with both teams not allowing many easy baskets, as both teams defensive intensity was turned up. Canada closed the opening quarter on an 8-2 and ended the frame down 13-12.
In the second quarter, France went on a small run, but Canada was able to bounce back with a quick five point swing, capped off by a steal and lay-up by Thorburn, which cut the deficit to two points, 23-21. Canada in their opening two games were able to shoot the ball behind the arc at a high percentage, but at the half Canada shot 0-of-8 from the 3-point line. France entered the locker-room with a 28-25 advantage.
To begin the second half of play, both Canada and France kept the game close, until France was able to pull away a bit with a seven point lead. Late in the quarter, Canada was able to cut the deficit to two points at the end of the quarter.
France entered the final frame with a slim 42-40 lead. France was able to extend their lead to seven points with 0:53 left in the quarter. Canada didn’t go down without a fight and gave France a scare late in the game. Canada was able to cut the lead to a one possession game 62-60 with 0:09 seconds, but France connected on key free-throws down the stretch and finished the game with the 64-60 victory.
Neither team was able to score a 3-point basket during the match. Canada shot 0-for-11, while France shot 0-for-5 from beyond the arc.