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Madrid, Spain (July 23, 2023) – Canada’s U19 Women’s National Team stormed back from an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit, before prevailing 80-73 in overtime over France to win bronze at the FIBA U19 Women’s Basketball World Cup on Sunday in Madrid, Spain.

Trailing 66-55 with 6:31 remaining in the fourth quarter, Canada proceeded to go on a 12-0 run to take a one-point lead with less than three minutes to go in regulation. The two countries traded buckets down the stretch, before Canada forced a stop after France’s potential game-winning three-pointer with just second remaining fell short, helping send the game to overtime.

Canada proceeded to outscore France 12-5 in the five minutes of overtime, claiming the country’s second-ever medal in FIBA U19 Women’s Basketball World Cup history.

The medal is Canada’s first since 2017, when the country captured bronze following a 67-60 bronze medal game win over Japan.

“Huge credit to the team for staying connected, trusting the process, leaning into what everyone was being asked to do, and it was a real joy to watch them celebrate this win today. They certainly earned it,” said Canada head coach Carly Clarke, who also served as the team’s head coach in 2017 when they won bronze.

Syla Swords led the way for Canada with a game-high 26 points (8-17 FG, 3-7 3PT, 7-8 FT).

“It was a huge game with a big crowd, so knowing that I did my best to bring home a medal for Canada was amazing,” said Swords.

Seventeen of the Sudbury, Ont. product’s 26 points came in the first half, as she was instrumental in helping Canada head into halftime with a one-point lead. She finished the game with six rebounds and six assists, while her 26 points are the most ever scored by a Canadian in a medal game in the tournament’s history.

“We all feel really excited to know that we worked together as a team to get it done and bring a medal home for Canada,” said Swords.

Toby Fournier had 15 points and a team-high eight rebounds, while Delaney Gibb and Achol Akot recorded 11 and 10 points, respectively.

Fournier had one of the highlights of the tournament for Canada, blocking a France lay-up attempt which could’ve extended their lead to four. Instead, the block helped Canada take over possession, setting the stage for a Swords three-pointer at the opposite end of the floor, giving the team their first lead since the 9:16 mark of the third quarter.

The win improved Canada’s record to 4-2 against France all-time at the tournament.

With the podium finish, Canada captured medals at both the FIBA U16 Women’s Americas 2023 and the FIBA U19 Women’s Basketball World Cup 2023. Next summer, Canada will compete in the FIBA U17 Women’s Basketball World Cup 2024 and the FIBA U18 Women’s Americas 2024.

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