Canada bounced back from a painful day-one defeat against Russia as they rallied past host Great Britain, 73-65, to score their first win in the women’s basketball competition of the 2012 London Olympics.
Playing in from of a loud home-town crowd at the Basketball Arena in London, Great Britain looked like on their way to their first-ever win in an Olympic women’s basketball competition, before Canada unleashed a huge rally down-the-stretch.
Down 61-57 after a furious rally from the British women’s side, Canada shifted to next gear, executing well and displayed tremendous hustle, to end the game with a huge 16-4 run to hammer out a morale-boosting win after a heart-breaking defeat in day one.
Shona Thoburn had a huge night as she finished with 18 points, including a three-point dagger that gave Canada a 66-61 with 2:32 left in the game that fully shifted the momentum to their side.
Courtnay Pilypaitis was also on target, scoring 11 points to go with five rebounds and four assists, while Kim Smith added 11 points and also scored crucial baskets down the stretch for Canada, who had 69 rebounds as compared to Great Britain’s 36 boards.
With the win, Canada put themselves in a good position in Group B once again and more importantly, erasing doubts after their late-game collapse against the Russians in which they blew a five-point lead in the final two minutes to lose by five points.
On the other hand, Natalie Stafford and Joe Leedham led Great Britain with 15 points apiece, but the latter committed two turnovers down-the-stretch that was capitalized by the Canadians, leading to their second-straight defeat.
Great Britain, who absorbed a blowout loss against Australia in their tournament-opener, will next face Russia on Wednesday, while Canada goes up against France, who are undefeated in their first two games.