A strong third quarter helped Canada pull away from China in the opening game of the 2012 Jack Donohue International Classic.
Canada outscored China 20-12 in the third period to turn a one-point lead into a nine-point advantage, which they would not relinquish on Wednesday (May 16) at the Langley Events Centre.
The remaining two games of the series between the two women’s national teams are being played at the Richmond Olympic Oval (May 17) and Abbotsford’s Envision Athletic Centre on the University of the Fraser Valley campus (May 18).
Mission’s Kim Smith led Canada with 20 points, eight rebounds, five assists and two blocked shots. She also hit four three-pointers.
China was led by their six-foot-nine centre Wei Wei who had 17 points in the loss.
Canada led for most of the game, including being up by 15 in the fourth quarter, while the largest Chinese lead was three points in the second quarter.
Canada shot 60 per cent from the field, including 50 per cent from beyond the arc.
China, which has already qualified for this summer’s London Olympics, is ranked seventh in the world and finished fourth at the 2008 Olympics.
Canada is ranked 11th and needs to qualify for the London Games.They can do so by finishing in the top five among the 12 teams at the FIBA Olympic Qualification Tournament, which runs June 25 to July 1 in Turkey.