CANADA FINISHES FIRST IN GROUP A WITH WIN OVER FRANCE AT THE FIBA WOMEN'S BASKETBALL WORLD CUP 2018
TENERIFE, ESP (September 25, 2018) - Canada's Senior Women's National Team defeated France 71-60 on Tuesday night to conclude the Group Phase at FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2018.
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With the victory, Canada (3-0) finishes first in Group A and receives a direct berth into Friday’s quarter-finals. Canada will now face the winner of Wednesday’s game between host Spain and Senegal.
For the second game in a row, Kia Nurse led all scorers and finished the night with 18 points and six assists. Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe had a double-double with 13 points and 10 rebounds, while Shay Colley added 12 points of her own in the victory. Sandrine Gruda had a team-high 14 points for France.
After an uncharacteristically slow start, Canada found themselves down by as many as 15 points in the first quarter, thanks in large part to a 13-0 run by France. Canada went on a modest 6-0 run of their own in the second to shrink the French lead to single digits, 25-16. After trailing 36-26 at halftime, Canada exploded in the second half and used a 7-0 run at the end of the frame to close the deficit to just one point. After taking the lead early in the fourth, Canada dominated the final five minutes of play with a 15-0 run to take a commanding 70-55 lead and the eventual victory.
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“The biggest thing for us was the defence coming up in the second half. Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe, Miranda Ayim, Nirra Fields, Natalie Achonwa… They all came up and gave us some really huge sparks on defence. That was a combination of steals, tips on passes, just guarding tough players one-on-one in tough matchups. I think that was something that translated to our great offensive push that we had, especially in the fourth quarter.– Kia Nurse
“We had a slow start and really struggled in the first half and left a lot of points on the board. But in the second half, these guys rallied and were going to fight and not lay down. We get a lot of offence from our defence, we hang our hat on that. We were able to get out in transition and get some key stops and then things started falling. We knew it wasn’t going to be an easy battle, that’s for sure. But really proud of how we finished off the game.” – Lisa Thomaidis
Following this victory, Canada will have two off days to rest and prepare to face the winner of Senegal and Spain in the quarterfinals at the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup 2018. Fans can catch the action live in Canada on DAZN.