FRANCE – The Senior Women’s National Team trailed for almost the entire game, but after a great fourth quarter run, Canada beat the fourth ranked Czech Republic, 66-64 in France.
“This was an excellent win by our team tonight, we had a great performance off our bench and it was a total team win,” said head coach, Allison McNeill. “Both teams played everyone and this game was great preparation for both teams."
In the opening frame, Czech Republic came out strong as they quickly grabbed a 7-0 lead over Canada, in the early moments of the first quarter. Canada was able to comeback and tie the game up shortly after, but the Czech Republic team made another run to gain the 21-14 advantage at the end of the quarter. In the second frame, both teams played even as Czech Republic outscored Canada by a point. Czech Republic held a 36-28 lead at the half.
Heading into the second half, Canada went down as many as eleven points in the third quarter, but they kept on playing hard and cut the deficit down to five points entering the fourth quarter. In the final frame, Canada held their first lead of the game with under three minutes to go, after Krista Phillips (Saskatoon, SK) hit a free throw to make the score 62-61. With twenty-one seconds left, Phillips hit another free throw to give Canada the 66-64 lead. The Czech Republic took one last shot to tie the game, but it was unsuccessful.
“We started off a bit slow, but we were persistent in playing our game and running our offense,” said Canadian centre, Krista Phillips. “Our defense is where we get our spark, and we got the stops we needed to put us in the lead and to secure the game.”
Canada was led by Kim Smith (Mission, BC) who had a game-high 19 points and grabbed five rebounds. Courtnay Pilypaitis (Orleans, ON) scored 10 points and four steals in the victory.
Canada will play their final exhibition game prior to the FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women, tomorrow against France, at 2:00 p.m. (EDT). For the FIBA Live Stats link for the game tomorrow, click here.
For box score, click here.
FIBA World Olympic Qualifying Tournament for Women – The Canadian Senior Women’s National Team will be competing for one of the five final berths into the 2012 London Olympics. The tournament takes place in Ankara, Turkey from June 25th – July 1st and Canada has been placed in Group D with France and Mali. Canada’s first game is on June 25th against Mali and then Canada plays France, June 26th. Both games will begin at 2:15 p.m. (EDT) and available to watch online at FIBAtv.com. For tournament information, click here.