This article was last updated on April 16, 2022
The Allison McNeill-coached Canadian women’s basketball team, looks to even its win-loss record at 1-1 with a 3 p.m. ET tipoff against Great Britain at the London Basketball Arena to keep the hopes to get to the medal round alive.
When it comes to women’s basketball at the Olympics, Canada and Great Britain are trying to win games and, along with the victories, some respect. Canada lost Saturday’s opener 58-53 to Russia. While the host nation needs a win after losing 74-58 to Australia in its opener. The loser will fall to 0-2 and will pretty much be out of the event.
Canada, which came into the Olympic tournament ranked 11th in the world, made some people take notice as they pushed Russia, ranked second in the world along with Australia, to the limit in their opening game Saturday. Canada had a 10-point lead in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t maintain the pace and lost 58-53.
The Britons are ranked 49th in the world. They didn’t even have a world ranking five years ago and have recently made some rapid progress under coach Tom Maher, who coached the Aussies to Olympic silver and bronze medals. They are in the tournament as Olympic hosts.
A key for Canada against the Brits will be to get some more diversified offence. Kim Smith of Mission, B.C., led the way for Canada against the Russians with 20 points, including five three-pointers, but missed a couple of critical free throws down the stretch. No other Canadian was in double figures with Shona Thorburn of Hamilton, Ont., next with seven. On the other hand, the British team has diversified players from around the world and has a Canadian connection: Point guard Rachel Vanderwal is from Hamilton. She qualified to play for Great Britain through her mom, a native of Merseyside. Vanderwal plays in the Irish league. Assistant coach Ken Shields was the long-time coach of Canada’s national men’s team and the University of Victoria squad. The Brits showed some pluck against the Aussies, so Canada can probably expect a physical game.
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