Image courtesy of FIBA

In their final match of the preliminary round at the FIBA U19 World Championship for Women, Canada lost 65-60 to a tough French team. Both teams entered the contest with 2-0 records as the only undefeated teams in their group. 

Canada jumped out to a 13-0 lead to start the game, sparked by solid play from Jamie Weisner and Emily Potter – who started in-place of the injured Emma Wolfram. Team Canada was able to extend the margin by as much as 25-4 after a flurry of baskets from Daneesha Provo, who notched ten straight points during one stretch. Canada outscored France 25-8 in the first frame, but France stormed back to win the second quarter 29-7 to take a five-point lead into the half.

Where the first 20 minutes played out as a game of runs, the second half was closely contested. Weisner continued to score and get to the free-throw line, but Canada trailed 50-46 heading into the final frame. With under three minutes remaining in the match, Canada took a brief 58-57 lead before France closed the game on an 8-2 run for the victory.

Weisner notched a team-high 14 points, four rebounds, and four steals. Potter and Provo each added 10 points. Samantha Cooper had eight points and eight rebounds while Shay Colley finished with eight points, four rebounds, four assists and three steals. The full match statistics can be viewed here.

When asked about the match, head coach Scott Edwards answered, "We shot the ball very well in the first and played with great energy on defence, but France played more up-tempo defensively in the second and forced us into some tough shots. I thought we bounced back coming out in the second half to give us a chance to win, but the ball didn't fall for us against an experienced French team. We'll need to do a better job of rebounding."

Winnipeg, Man. product Potter added that "it was definitely a battle today. We didn't close-out at the end of the game and we didn't rebound as well as we did yesterday, which hurt us. We'll have tomorrow to prepare and work on some things to get ready for the next round."

Canada finishes preliminary round play as the second seed in group C with a 2-1 record. Canada, France and the Netherlands will advance to the Eighth Final Round to form Group F with the top three finishers from Group D – three of the United States, China, the host-nation Lithuania and Mali will go through. In the next round, each team will face the three squads which they have not yet played. The top four teams from group F will move on to the quarter-finals. The schedule for the next round of play has not yet been released.