CANADA BATTLES BACK TO DEFEAT BRAZIL AT FOUR NATIONS

The Senior Women’s National Team (SWNT) began the second leg of the Four Nations Women’s Basketball Tournament with a hard-fought 60-54 come-from-behind victory against Brazil. The team opened the first leg of the competition with a 63-46 win over this same Brazilian squad.

An even first quarter saw Team Canada pull ahead by a count of 15-13. A defensive battle ensued as both teams focused on their own ends of the floor in the second. Team Canada had its chances, but a strong defensive effort from the Brazilian side kept them from capitalizing. The SWNT came out of the first half holding onto a narrow 25-21 lead.

Brazil came out aggressively in the third quarter and made some early shots to pull ahead of Canada. The opposition erased its halftime deficit and emerged from the third quarter ahead by a score of 41-38. A resilient SWNT battled back in the fourth quarter. The team rediscovered its scoring touch and maintained its composure on defence. The Canadians’ 22 points in the final frame were the highest by either team in a single quarter.

Mission, B.C. native Kim Smith finished with 14 points to lead Team Canada. Brampton, Ontario’s Tamara Tatham collected a game-high eight rebounds to go with 11 points. Miranda Ayim of London, Ont. put forth a complete effort with 12 points, four rebounds, two assists, three steals and five blocks. The game’s statistics can be seen here.

"That was definitely a team win. Our defence came through and won us that game. Even when we weren't hitting our shots, we still got stops. We were taking it hard to the basket tonight and getting to the free-throw line. We're very happy with the way we played together as a team,” commented Ayim, when asked about the SWNT’s performance.

Head coach Lisa Thomaidis added, "I'm proud of our team tonight for a fantastic win over Brazil. We survived a tough shooting night to come back and get the victory. Miranda Ayim was outstanding at both ends of the floor for us. Despite some poor shooting, we hit key shots at critical times. We're looking forward to playing China tomorrow."

The SWNT is slated to tip-off against Team China on Thursday at 7:30 a.m. (ET). Canada will complete the eight-day, six-game tournament on Friday against Puerto Rico at 9:30 a.m. (ET).