TEAM CANADA OPENS EXHIBITION SERIES WITH 76-69 VICTORY OVER JAPAN
BRIDGEPORT, CT (September 7, 2018) - Canada's Senior Women's National Team defeated Japan 76-69 on Friday night in their first of a two-game exhibition series at Webster Bank Arena in Connecticut.
Click here for the box score.
Natalie Achonwa recorded game-highs in both points and rebounds, earning herself a double-double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Miranda Ayim scored 15 points of her own, while Kia Nurse recorded 10 points and four assists.
Canada established an early 12-3 lead in the opening frame thanks in large part to a 10-0 run and led Japan 19-11 after 10 minutes of play.
Another run midway through the second quarter saw the Canadian lead grow to 38-17 with 3:19 to play in the half. Despite being outscored 7-2 over the final two minutes, Canada entered halftime with a 42-26 advantage.
Japan responded in the second half, eventually shrinking the Canadian lead to just 10 points with three minutes to play in the quarter. Bridget Carleton knocked down a triple with four seconds on the clock as Canada entered the final frame with a 13-point advantage, 62-49.
Canada maintained a double-digit lead for the majority of the fourth quarter before Japan knocked down late back-to-back triples, shrinking the lead to seven. However, that would be as close as they would get as Canada secured the 76-69 victory.
Miranda Ayim (150 games) and Michelle Plouffe (100 games) were honoured pregame.
Click here for the roster.
"It was just great to be on the floor with our final twelve as we're heading into the World Cup. It's nice to get that rhythm back. There's more to be found in that rhythm going forward but I think it was a good first game and we saw what we need to work on. Japan is always a great opponent to play as they really push the tempo and they hit threes." - Miranda Ayim
"We're still pretty much in the early phases of forming our team and figuring out what we're going to be able to be successful with. It was great to play another team finally, not just against ourselves. Japan throws a lot of things at us that sometimes we're not accustomed to. They play a little bit of a different style of play, which is great for us to get experience against." - Lisa Thomaidis
The second game of the two-game exhibition series in Connecticut continues tomorrow night as the Team Canada takes on USA. Fans can catch all the action live on NBA TV Canada.
To stay updated on the Senior Women's National Team, follow Canada Basketball on Twitter.