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Canada Basketball – ANTIBES, FRA (September 16, 2018) –  Canada’s Senior Women’s National Team fell to France 72-68 on Sunday evening in the second of a three-game exhibition series ahead of the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2018.

Click here for the box score

Kia Nurse had a game-high 25 points and five rebounds, while Miranda Ayim recorded 13 points, five rebounds and three assists in the loss.  Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe scored eight points and a team-high six rebounds for Canada. 

After a back and forth start to the game, Canada used a 7-0 run late in the frame to help build an eight point lead.  However, France answered and thanks to a late three pointer with under thirty seconds to play, reduced the Canadian lead to just three points after 10 minutes.

With Canada up by eight points late in the second quarter, Marine Johannès, who scored a team-high 16 points for France, knocked down three consecutive from beyond the arc to shrink the Canadian lead to just one point.  Tied 36-36 with under 30 seconds to play in the half, a Shay Colley layup with 11 seconds to go gave Canada a two-point advantage at the break.

France clamped down defensively in the third quarter as they held Canada to just 10 points and established a 53-48 advantage heading into the final quarter.

Trailing by 10 points with under five minutes to play, Canada used a 12-2 run, including back-to-back threes from Nurse, to erase the deficit and tie the game 68-68 with a minute to play.  After France converted a pair of late free throws for a two point lead, a turnover forced Canada to foul once again.  France’s Olivia Époupa converted both to stretch the lead to four points, ultimately thwarting the Canadian comeback.

Click here for the roster.

QUOTES

“It was a hard fought battle. When you get to test yourself against number four in the world it’s a tough challenge every time we play them.  I think every opportunity we get to work on our weaknesses and our strengths against them is great, especially since we have them in our pool play for the tournament.  We’ll only continue to get better from there.” – Kia Nurse

“They’re a team that’s ranked fourth in the world for a reason and we have to be better than that if we’re going to beat them.  There are a number of things that are completely under our control that we know we can clean up for next time.  It was a great opportunity to play them and get an advanced look before we play for keeps.” – Head Coach Lisa Thomaidis

UP NEXT

Canada will now face Senegal on Monday at 12:00 pm ET in their final exhibition game before the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup 2018 begins on Saturday.

To stay updated on the Senior Women’s National Team, follow Canada Basketball on Twitter.