COMEBACK FALLS SHORT AGAINST FINLAND AT 2017 SUMMER UNIVERSIADE
TAIPEI CITY, TAIWAN (August 21, 2017) - After a convincing opening victory at the 2017 Summer Universiade in Taipei, Chinese Taipei, the Canadian men's basketball team lost 79-71 to Finland on Tuesday morning.
Carleton's Kaza Kajami-Keane led Canada in scoring for the second straight game, putting up 21 points with seven boards. Connor Wood (Carleton) and Erik Nissen (Acadia) scored 17 and 12 points respectively.
Defensively Kevin Bercy (StFX) brought in the most boards for Canada with eight.
The game, which was played just over 12 hours after both teams opened the preliminary round, was tight to start as the lead changed multiple times early on. Through the opening quarter Finland and Canada were tied 19-19.
From there the Canadians hit a cold streak, while Finland caught fire from behind the three-point line, shooting four-for-nine (44 per cent) in the second quarter. At half Canada trailed 40-27.
"We felt pretty good actually (about short time between games), but maybe guys were a little tired because it's earlier than we're used to playing," said Wood. "(In the second quarter) I think we just started to get a tired and didn't actually play. We were expecting to get stuff off the offence instead of just playing the game, going hard and making things happen. They did that."
Shooting troubles continued in the third quarter as the red and white were zero-for-seven from three, while making three-for-nine from the field. Finland maintained their hot streak as they shot 53 per cent from the field and 43 per cent from behind the arc.
However, the fourth was a different story as Finland started to struggle, shooting zero per cent from behind the arc, but the comeback was too late for Canada who shot 73 per cent from the field and outscored the Finns 32-10.
"We just said get it down to 20, get it down to 10 and from there it's going to be a game," said Wood on their comeback attempt. "Every quarter we were just talking, talking, talking and we just finally brought some energy, which was the turning point for us"
Tuesday Canada will be back in action at 8 a.m. EST against Hong Kong, China.
SOURCE: U SPORTS