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Canada Basketball – Miranda Ayim scores 15 points off  the bench as SWNT records second win over China

EDMONTON, ALBERTA (July 10, 2016) – Canada Basketball’s Senior Women’s National Team continued its winning ways Sunday, defeating China 74-62 in Game 2 of the Edmonton Grads International Classic at the Saville Community Sports Centre.

Nirra Fields, Kim Gaucher, Katherine Plouffe, Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe and Shona Thorburn started for Canada.

SWNT veteran Miranda Ayim came off the bench to score 15 points, while Fields added 12 and Katherine Plouffe scored nine in the winning cause. Sun Meng-ran and Huang Si-jang each had 15 points for China. For full boxscore click here.

Canada had defeated China 82-63 in Game 1 of the EGIC on Saturday, but this game was much tighter, with neither side leading by more than six until midway through the fourth, and no more than four points separating the teams for nearly all of the second and third quarters.

“We were talking about this last night: China’s a good team and they had literally just travelled from China to come play here,” Ayim said. “They weren’t exactly themselves last night and we knew that they were going to come back and give us a better game today and that’s what we need. We need a challenging game and lots of pressure so we know what to do when we see that at the Olympics.”

Canada assisted on 25 of its 27 field-goal makes. Shona Thorburn led Canada with 8 helpers, while Fields, Lizanne Murphy, and Miah-Marie Langlois each recorded four. Canada won the points in the battle 38-12 and forced China into 25 turnovers.

Game 2 started much like the previous night’s contest, with points hard to come by in the early going. Ayim provided a spark for Canada with six points in the first quarter, but China came away with an 18-13 lead after 10 minutes. Canada scored the first six points of the second period to go in front by one and maintained a lead for most of the quarter, ending the first half with a 36-33 advantage.

China pulled even early in the second half and the teams went back and forth during a spirited third quarter that featured several ties, multiple lead changes, and ended with Canada held the narrowest of leads, 51-50 Canada started the fourth on a 9-2 run, jumping ahead 60-52 in what to that point had been the biggest lead of the game for either team. China would get no closer than eight as Canada was able to seal the victory.

“China definitely played better, so it forced us to have to be better and it’s so beneficial to be in a tight game like that,” SWNT coach Lisa Thomaidis said. “We want to be forced to execute and handle a little bit of pressure and things like that, so we probably did play better than we did last night.”

Canada and China conclude the EGIC with Game 3 at 7pm MT on Monday. Follow @CanBBall for updates.

For full Edmonton Grads International Classic roster click here.

To purchase EGIC tickets click here.

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