SWNT defeats No. 2-ranked Australia 72-60 for third straight win

Canada Basketball's Senior Women's National Team defeated Australia 72-60 in Caen, France, on Wednesday, to win for a third straight time on its European exhibition series.

Kim Gaucher scored 22 points and shot a perfect 5/5 on three-pointers to lead the SWNT past the second-ranked team on FIBA's world rankings. Miranda Ayim added 16 points for Canada, while Tamara Tatham and Katherine Plouffe chipped in with 9 and 8, respectively.

Elizabeth Cambage was Australia's top scorer with 15 points. For the full boxscore visit http://www.fibalivestats.com/u/FFBB/296827/index_en_AU.html

This is a great win for us tonight, our team showed tremendous resilience after a slow start,” SWNT head coach Lisa Thomaidis said. “Our defensive intensity and execution of the game plan really were the keys to victory tonight.

Offensively we did a great job of distributing the ball. We found Kim for threes and she knocked down every one of them tonight. Miranda Ayim just did a fantastic job of battling inside against an opponent that is quite a bit larger than her and also came up with some huge baskets towards the end of the game.”

The SWNT recorded an assist on all 23 its field-goals, while the point guard duo of Shona Thorburn (6 assists) and Miah Marie Langlois (3) combined for 0 turnovers. As a team, Canada shot 43% from the field compared to 37% by the Australians, who had 22 total turnovers.

A good win for us tonight, I thought that we battled a really tough team,” Gaucher said. “We kind of gutted it out, I thought our bigs did an amazing job of guarding a really strong, impressive player (Cambage). We got them to turn the ball over a bunch and we rebounded the ball and I think our defence keyed us to another victory tonight.”

Ayim, Gaucher, Langlois, Michelle Plouffe and Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe got the start for Canada, who outscored Australia 62-42 over the final 30 minutes after trailing 18-10 at the end of the first quarter.

Gaucher hit three shots from beyond the arc in a span of less than two and a half minutes midway through the second quarter, sparking a rally that saw the SWNT take a 30-28 lead at halftime.

Canada broke things open late in the third, closing the quarter on an 11-3 run to go in front 53-42. Australia pulled within 7, at 57-50, with nearly seven minutes left in the game, before the SWNT responded with seven straight points. Ayim had 8 points, 2 rebounds, 2 blocks, and a steal in the fourth quarter.

Canada is now 3-1 on its tour of Spain and France, with one game remaining, Thursday against China at noon ET. Live stats are available at http://www.fibalivestats.com/webcast/FFBB/296828/. Follow all Canada Basketball games at @CanBBall

Full SWNT roster is available here: http://basketball.ca/en/team_programs/womens-team