Playing without fear and with admirable determination, Team Canada delivered a strong defence performance in an 81-51 loss to the five-time defending Olympic champion United States in Group B action at the 2016 Rio Summer Games.
Canada's starting lineup included Miah-Marie Langlois, Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe, Kim Gaucher, Tamara Tatham and Miranda Ayim. Click here for full team roster.
Ayim led Team Canada with eight points, while Nirra Fields came off the bench to score seven, and Raincock-Ekunwe contributed six points and a game-high eight rebounds. Team USA got 12 points apiece from Maya Moore and Diana Taurasi. For game boxscore click here.
Team USA (4-0) takes over sole possession of first place in Group B, while Canada (3-1) is now tied with Spain (3-1) for second spot. Canada concludes its Group B schedule against Spain on Sunday.
â??They keep this very well in perspective,â? Canadian head coach Lisa Thomaidis said of her players. â??They know what this is all about and our eyes are firmly focused on a very tough Spanish team. That's a game that has some meaningfulness to it for us and we'll be ready for them.â?
Eighty-one points equals the fewest Team USA has scored in its last 13 Olympic games, dating back to 2008, and is more than 30 less what the Americans averaged through their first three matches in Rio.
Canada got off to a strong start, jumping to a 7-4 advantage and leading 9-8 less than four minutes into the game. After one quarter, Team Canada trailed just 18-16 with Raincock-Ekunwe recording four points and four rebounds in the opening period.
Team USA out-scored Canada 15-3 over the first 9:21 of the second quarter before Fields converted a big three-point play by scoring inside and drawing the foul. At halftime, the Americans led 26-22.
The United States built its lead to 47-27 midway through the third quarter before Canada answered with a 5-0 run punctuated by a Fields' three-pointer. Team USA then closed out the period on 13-4 run to take a 60-36 advantage into the fourth.
Canada played hard to the finish, scoring eight points in the game's final 2:39, including five in a row from Ayim.
Canada meets Spain at 4:45 p.m. EST on Aug. 14. Visit olympics.cbc.ca tor TV broadcast details and to watch the live stream of the game.
For the complete Olympic basketball schedule click here.