MALAGA, Spain (July 3, 2022) -- The Canadian U17 Men’s National Team dropped an 87-55 contest to France in Spain on Sunday. The loss drops Canada to 1-1 in group play at the FIBA U17 Basketball World Cup 2022.
Canada shot just 27 percent in the loss, compared to 44 percent shooting for France. The Canadians shot 4-for-23 from beyond the arc while France connected on 8-of-21 attempts from long range. Canada never led in the game after falling behind to start. France outrebounded Canada 50-38, and scored 28 points off of Canada’s 19 turnovers, compared to just seven points scored for Canada off of France’s 17 turnovers.
Baraka Okojie led Canada with 15 points in the game, despite shooting just 2-for-11 from the floor. Okojie scored 11 of his 15 points at the free-throw line where he shot 11-for-13. He was the lone scorer to reach double figures for Canada.
Ilane Fibleuil led France with 15 points while Illan Pietrus added 15 points for France in the win.
After falling behind 10-0 to start, Canada’s first points of the game didn’t come until the 6:28 mark of the opening quarter when Stephen Osei grabbed an offensive rebound and dunked it emphatically. Canada was just 2-for-16 from the floor in the first quarter and trailed by 17 points after the opening 10 minutes.
France opened the scoring in the second quarter with a jumper from Pacôme Dadiet , but Okojie responded for Canada with a three-point play. A three-pointer from Jacob Theodosiou and then a jumper from Christian Nitu made it 34-19 France with 6:43 remaining in the half. Things improved for Canada offensively in the second as they were able to match France point-for-point with each team scoring 23 points in the quarter, but this meant that Canada wasn’t able to cut into France’s advantage and continued to trail by 17 at the half, 49-32.
After a better second-quarter effort, things turned again in the third as France held Canada to just nine points, winning the quarter 19-9 to build onto their lead to go into the fourth ahead by 27, leading 68-41.
France opened the fourth quarter with a three to extend their advantage to 30 points, and coasted easily to victory from there. Canada was outscored 19-14 in the fourth, but didn’t stop playing until the final buzzer, they simply couldn't get their shots to fall.
Up next for Canada is a meeting with Serbia on Tuesday, July 5 at 9:45 a.m. ET, live on FIBA YouTube.