Gaucher leads Canadian rout of Greece to open FIBA Women's World Cup
Veteran scores game-high 16 points, Nirra Fields adds 13 for 5th-ranked squad
Kim Gaucher had a game-high 16 points as Canada opened the FIBA Women's World Cup with an 81-50 victory over Greece on Saturday in Tenerife, Spain.
Nirra Fields added 13 points for the Canadians, ranked a program-high fifth at the tournament following a fifth-place finish at the 2014 world championships, and Kia Nurse had 12.
Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe also scored in double digits with 11 points while grabbing a game-high eight rebounds.
"I thought it was a great start and we came out with a lot of energy," said Gaucher. "The first game is always an interesting one. I've kind of been waiting all summer for it but I thought we handled it well."
Watch highlights of Canada's win over Greece:
Evanthia Maltsi, a former WNBA player and Eurobasket MVP, led Greece with 14 points.
Canada led 23-10 after the first quarter, 51-25 after two and 66-38 after three. The Canadians outrebounded Greece 51-27 and had 10 steals to their opponents' eight.
"We got a lot of contributions from a number of different people. We really wanted to push the pace today against them and I thought we did a pretty good job of that," said Canadian head coach Lisa Thomaidis. "Certainly knocking down a lot of threes in the first half was helpful."
Canada's fifth-place showing at the 2014 world championships was the program's best finish in 28 years and served to solidify the Canadians' spot among the world's top teams.
Canada continues group play against South Korea (No. 16) on Sunday before facing rival France (No. 3) on Tuesday.
France dispatched Canada in the quarter-finals at the Rio Olympics. The two met in a friendly last week, with the French beating Canada 72-68.