Road To The Olympic Games

Basketball

France eliminates Canada in Olympic basketball

France eliminated Canada 68-63 in the women's basketball quarter-finals at the Rio Olympics.

Canadians lose in quarter-finals for 2nd consecutive Games

By Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press

France eliminated Canada 68-63 in the women's basketball quarter-finals Tuesday in Rio. It's the second consecutive Olympic quarter-final exit for the Canadians.

Canada's offence dried up in the fourth quarter as France slowly pulled away late to clinch the win and book a date with the United States in the semifinals.

Captain Kim Gaucher led the way for Canada, ranked No. 9 in the world, with a game-high 15 points, as well as five rebounds.

Gaucher said she felt "gutted" after the loss.

"Just like you've been punched in the stomach," she added.

Fourth-ranked France was paced by 14 points and a game-high 10 rebounds from Sandrine Gruda.

On the other side of the bracket, No. 14 Serbia upset No. 2 Australia 73-71 on Tuesday and will meet No. 3 Spain, which downed No. 10 Turkey 64-62, in the other semi.

Canada held a 25-16 lead after the first and stretched that lead to 13 early in the second before France went on a 12-0 run midway through the quarter to cut the deficit to 29-28.

"We got into foul trouble in the second quarter and that brought them back into the game," Gaucher said.

Stalled offence for Canadians

Canada held a 25-16 lead after the first and stretched that lead to 13 early in the second before France went on a 12-0 run midway through the quarter to cut the deficit to 29-28.

After a blistering 25-point first quarter, Canada's offence stalled. The attack was hampered by Kia Nurse's inability to find her scoring touch. The star guard was 3-for-17 from the floor.

Canada was solidly defensively, frequently forcing France into shot-clock violations. But with a close game winding down, France found the key buckets down the stretch and Canada couldn't respond.

Any designs on a desperate comeback attempt were hurt when Miranda Ayim picked up her fifth foul late in the game.

With Canada trailing by five with and the clock ticking down, Nirra Fields provided a ray of hope with a key bucket to cut France's lead to 64-61 with 25 seconds left. But on the ensuing inbound, Fields was called for an unsportsmanlike foul when she pushed a French player, giving France two uncontested free throws plus possession and essentially ending the game.

Canada held a 25-16 lead after the first and stretched that lead to 13 early in the second before France went on a 12-0 run midway through the quarter to cut the deficit to 29-28.

Canada got back on track late in the half to take a 37-32 lead into the break, but France scored the first six points of the third and the teams went back and forth from there to sit tied 50-50 heading to the fourth.

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