canada, womens national basketball, china, tamara tatham, rio, olympic games, atbnews

RIO DE JANEIRO (August 6, 2016) – Canada Basketball’s senior women’s national team opened play at the 2016 Olympic Games with a 90-68 win over China at Youth Arena on Saturday.

Canada’s starting lineup featured Miah-Marie Langlois, Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe, Kim Gaucher, Tamara Tatham and Miranda Aym. Click here for full team roster.

Tatham led the way with 20 points and Lizanne Murphy came off the bench to score 12 as all 12 Canadian players got on the scoreboard and nine had at least five points. China’s Chen Xiaojia scored a team-high 12 points. For game boxscore click here.

I thought it was a great way to start the tournament,” Team Canada head coach Lisa Thomaidis said. “We had contributions from absolutely everyone. 41 of our 90 points came from our bench and I think that just speaks to our depth of talent and ability to put different people in and see them contribute.”

Playing the 200th game of her career for Canada Basketball, captain Gaucher led all players with 10 rebounds and seven assists. Langlois tallied 11 points and added four boards and four assists.

It’s a great start to our tournament,” said Natalie Achonwa, who shot 3/5 from the field to score six points. “It’s Kim Gaucher 200th international competition game, so it’s a great one for her, it’s a great one for our team to start off with a win.”

Canada shot a blistering 11/17 from beyond the arc, with Tatham connecting on all four of her three-point attempts. Langlois went 3/5 while Murphy was 2/3 from the outside.

Chen hit a three-pointer to score the game’s first points, but that would be China’s only lead. Canada scored the next six points to go in front 6-3, then finished the first quarter on a 10-2 run to lead 19-9 after 10 minutes. China tried to stay close in the second quarter, but Langlois drilled a pair of three-pointers in the last 72 seconds to send Canada into the halftime break ahead 37-26.

Tatham scored 10 points in the third period as Canada built its advantage to 60-46 with 10 minutes remaining. After Lu Wen opened the fourth quarter with a bucket to pull China within 60-48, Canada erupted for a 19-5 surge that put the game out of reach.

First quarter was just feeling it out: We came out, we missed a couple of easy ones under the basket, but we cleaned it up pretty quickly and really ran away with it in the second half, so we’re really happy about that,” Tatham said.

At 1-0, Team Canada will hold a share of first place in the Group B standings after Day 1 of competition in women’s basketball at the Rio Games. Canada returns to action on Monday, when it takes on Serbia at 1:15 PM EST. The game will be streamed online at olympics.cbc.ca. For the complete Olympic basketball schedule click here. via basketball.ca

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