SWNT beats China 74-58 to finish European tour with 4-1 record
Canada Basketball's Senior Women's National Team picked up its fourth consecutive victory Thursday, beating China 74-58 in Caen, France, to finish its European exhibition tour with a 4-1 record.
Miranda Ayim and Katherine Plouffe each notched 13 points, while Tamara Tatham scored all 11 of her points in the first half as Canada continued to roll on the road to Rio.
"We had a good game playing against one of the top teams in the world," said Katherine Plouffe. "Coming off the whole tournament, it was great to see the top competition we possibly might face in the Olympics, so overall it was a great tournament for us and we took a lot from it. A lot to learn and get better at, and we're looking forward to Rio."
The SWNT shot 57% (32/56) from the field, including 6/14 from beyond the arc. Canada recorded 28 assists, with point guard Miah-Marie Langlois dishing out a game-high nine.
"I thought we played really well as a team and each game we just keep continuing to build," Tatham said. "I think we shared the ball well and our chemistry's coming along great and I can't wait to see what happens next."
Canada forced 22 turnovers by China, which connected on 39% (23/58) of its field goal attempts and went 5/20 on three-pointers. Mengan Sun led China with 11 points. For the full boxscore visit http://www.fibalivestats.com/u/FFBB/296828/index_en_AU.html
With a starting unit of Kim Gaucher, Katherine Plouffe, Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe, Tatham and Shona Thorburn, Canada briefly trailed just twice in the game's opening three minutes. The SWNT was in front 22-17 after the first quarter when Tatham had seven points.
The halftime score favoured Canada 35-28 when China started the third quarter on a 8-2 run to pull within a point. The SWNT responded with Langlois and Katherine Plouffe combining on a quick 6-0 burst and Canada would lead 52-46 going into the final period. The fourth quarter was dominated by Canada, who outscored China 22-10 to win going away.
After the SWNT (No. 9 in the FIBA World Rankings) dropped the first game of its tour against host Spain (No. 3) it beat Cuba (No. 13), then travelled to France and reeled off victories over France (No. 4), Australia (No. 2), and China (No. 8).
"I'm very happy with our performance over this entire European trip," SWNT head coach Lisa Thomaidis said. "To win four games in a row against the quality opponents that we played over here is a tremendous accomplishment. We still have lots to work on, lots to improve on, but I'm pretty happy with how Phase One has gone and I look forward to getting back together in a couple weeks to continue to improve."
Canada will re-group on June 28th in Edmonton for the second phase of training, where they will host China for the Edmonton Grads International Classic July 9-11 at the Saville Community Sports Centre.
Full SWNT roster is available here: http://basketball.ca/en/team_programs/womens-team