RIO DE JANEIRO (August 16, 2016) – Team Canada’s memorable Olympic run reached its conclusion on Tuesday night with a 68-63 women’s basketball quarter final loss to France at Carioca Arena.
Canada’s starting lineup featured Miah-Marie Langlois, Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe, Kim Gaucher, Tamara Tatham and Miranda Ayim. Click here for full team roster.
Captain Gaucher had 15 points to lead five Canadian players in double-digit scoring. Kia Nurse came off the bench for 11 points, three rebounds and three assists, while Tatham contributed 10 points, five rebounds and four assists. Sandrine Gruda had a game-high 10 rebounds and was France’s top scorer with 14 points. For game boxscore click here.
“We lacked a little bit of experience at the end,” Canadian head coach Lisa Thomaidis said. “We forced up some tough shots we didn’t need to, and we had a hard time learning our lessons throughout the tournament.”
Canada and France battled tooth-and-nail to the very end, in a back-and-forth match-up reflective of two teams finished group play at the Olympics with identical 3-2 records.
Canada hit its first three three-pointers of the game, seizing an early 14-7 advantage. After France pulled back within two points, 16-14, the Canadians finished the first quarter on a 9-2 run to take a 25-16 lead. Langlois was on fire in the opening period, scoring eight points while shooting 3/3 from the field, including a pair of triples.
Team Canada built is lead to 29-16 early in the second quarter before hitting a dry spell as France scored 10 straight points to cut Canada’s advantage to one with more than four minutes remaining before halftime. Canada answered, by closing the period with an 8-4 run that included four points from Gaucher, and took a 37-32 lead into the break.
“We got into foul trouble, they were in the bonus with seven minutes left in the second quarter and I think that brought them back into the game,” Gaucher said. “I think we could have been up big at that point, but they got so many shots at the free-throw line that we just gave away free baskets.”
France scored the first six points of the third quarter and grabbed ts first lead, 38-37, since the early moments of the game. From there the teams traded leads, and ended the period deadlocked at 50-50.
That trend continued throughout the final period. Raincock-Ekunwe hit a free-throw to make the score 60-59 in favour of France with 1:58 remaining, but Canada was unable to get closer as France finished on an 8-4 run.