Canada loses to Australia in quarters


Michel Belanger

July 12, 2013, KAZAN, Russia (Team Canada) (ISN) – Canada is out of medal contention at the Summer Universiade women’s basketball tournament following a 72-58 quarter-final loss to Australia, Friday evening.

Despite the loss, the red and white still has a chance to top its sixth-place finish from the 2011 FISU Games in Shenzhen, China. Canada will be back on the court Saturday at 1 p.m. local time (5 a.m. ET) against Sweden. 

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In today’s contest, the Canadian women put on a valiant effort but in the end were overmatched against a country that has medalled at each of the last four Universiades, including the FISU title in 2007 and three bronze.

Up 23-15 after the first quarter and 37-27 at halftime, Australia put the game away by dominating the third frame 18-7 to build a commanding 55-34 advantage heading into the fourth.

“They’re very, very skilled. They have 24 years of international experience combined on their roster. We don’t,” said head coach Fabian McKenzie. “We were still in it at the half. Anytime you tell me we’re going to be within 10 at halftime against a team like that, I’ll take it. We competed hard until the final whistle but in the end, we just dug ourselves too deep a hole in the third.

“If you look at the stats, we took 72 shots and they took 55. And they won by 14. We really struggled with our shooting today.”

The Canadians shot only 30 percent in the game compared to 49% for their rivals. The Australians also had a 44-35 advantage in rebounding.

Alice Kunek scored a match-high 21 points for the winners including 10 in the third frame.

In a losing cause, Korissa Williams of Windsor, Ont. (University of Windsor) was the lone Canuck to reach double-digits in scoring with 10 points. Miah-Marie Langlois, also of Windsor (University of Windsor), and Lindsay Ledingham of Regina (University of Regina) added nine apiece.

“We really want to win two more games and get that fifth place,” McKenzie said. “For us, it was already an accomplishment to reach the quarter-finals. But now that we’re here, we’re not going to settle for eighth.”

BOXSCORE: Canada vs Australia