The Senior Women’s National Team (SWNT) fell 70-44 to host-nation China in the team’s second game of the Four Nations Women’s Basketball Tournament. Team Canada is now even at 1-1 in the competition while China improved to 2-0.
Canada raced out to a quick 6-2 lead, but a steady and persistent attack from the home-side knotted the game at 9 points-a-piece. The Chinese side ended the quarter on a 9-2 run to bring the home crowd to its feet. Buoyed by the lively gathering of fans, the Chinese side continued to pressure Canada with a balanced attack and opened-up the match with a 14-4 stretch. The teams went into halftime with China holding a 36-21 advantage.
The SWNT ran-up against a stalwart defensive effort in the opening ten minutes of the second half. Canada tried to mount a comeback, but Team China held the Canadian offence in-check while putting together an impressive shooting display en route to a 22-7 quarter. Canada outscored the Chinese side 16-12 in the final frame, but the outcome had already been decided.
Head coach Lisa Thomaidis saw the tough loss as a learning experience. "We struggled against their defensive pressure tonight. China really presented some difficulties for us and played tougher defence than we've seen so far this summer. This will be a good game for us to go back and watch film from in order to improve."
Playing in her 100th game in the Red and White of Team Canada, Brampton, Ont. native Tamara Tatham marked the special occasion by leading the team in scoring with 10 points. Kia Nurse was not far behind with eight in the match, while Kendel Ross and Lizanne Murphy each notched six. The SWNT outrebounded China 27-17 in the contest, including a 13-6 margin on the offensive end. The game’s statistics can be viewed here.
Tatham echoed her coach’s thoughts on the game by saying, "We started well today, but we got caught up with their defence and that really hurt us. Playing strong defensive teams can only help us get better. We have to read and react to different defences and then learn from looking back and seeing what did and did not work."
The SWNT wraps-up the first leg of the Four Nations Tournament against Puerto Rico at 6:30 a.m. (ET) on Sunday morning. The four teams then travel and train for two days before matching-up against one another in the second leg of the tournament in the city of Nanjing.