Brazil’s Stingy Defence Hands first Loss to Canada in FIBA Americas

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PHOTO COURTESY: FIBA

NEIVA, Colombia – The Senior Women’s National Team battled hard, but fell short against Brazil (2-0), losing 56-39. The loss evens Canada’s record to 1-1 at the 2011 FIBA Americas Championship for Women, while improving Brazil’s record to 2-0.

“I thought this was a great test for us,” said head coach Allison McNeill. “Brazil is a team you have to play well against for 40 minutes and we didn’t. We played well for a good portion of the game, but we struggled offensively in the third quarter and then just lost our concentration.”

“We had some breakdowns defensively,” said Chelsea Aubry (Kitchener, ON). “Offensively, we just could not find a way to put the ball in the hoop.”

Canada shot just 29% from the field against a stingy Brazilian defense. Leading the way offensively was Miranda Ayim (London, ON), who scored a team-high 10 points for Canada.

Kim Smith (Mission, BC) added six; while Alisha Tatham (Brampton, ON), Kalisha Keane (Ajax, ON) and Lizanne Murphy (Beaconsfield, ON) had four points each.

The game started off slow for both teams, as they each struggled from the field offensively. Halfway through the first quarter, the game was knotted up at four. The two teams continued to struggle offensively until Brazil’s Damiris Dantas scored at the buzzer to tie the game at eight after the first 10 minutes.

The offense began to pick up as Brazil went on a 9-2 run to start the second quarter. However a three-pointer by Teresa Gabriele (Mission, BC), followed by a steal and a three-pointer by Keane kept Canada within striking distance. Heading into halftime, Canada only trailed 23-20.

Brazil came out on fire to start the second half, which allowed them to mount their lead. Smith scored timely points to keep the game from getting away from Canada, but Brazil managed to take a 17 point lead after three quarters.

Into the fourth quarter, despite Canada’s best efforts on both sides of the ball, they could not stage a comeback against a strong Brazilian team, who held on to their second win of the tournament.

Canada’s loss to Brazil can be seen on TSN2 tonight at 11:00 pm ET (8:00 pm PT). Check local listings for details.

“We will re-group and get ready for Paraguay tomorrow and Jamaica on Wednesday,” continued McNeill. “Our focus remains on the next game. We will learn lessons each game and get better.”

Canada will now try and bounce back tomorrow against Paraguay. Tip-off is set for 3:30 pm local time (4:30 pm ET). The game will also be broadcasted on TSN2 at 8:00 pm ET (5:00 pm PT).

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