LONDON—It will go down as the most significant Canadian women’s basketball victory in decades.
With a 79-73 triumph over Brazil Friday morning, Canada has qualified for the Olympic Games quarter-finals for the first time ever.
After seeing a 14-point disappear during a dreadful third quarter, Canada got things under control in a nervous fourth to improve its record to 2-2, and is guaranteed a berth in the elimination quarter-finals.
Canada still faces Australia to finish the preliminary round and won’t know for sure who they’ll play in the quarter-finals until Sunday.
The most likely scenario is a date with the powerful United States.
Canada looked to be in control, building a 14-point lead early in the third quarter before a series of turnovers caused by a Brazil press turned the game.
Brazil took its first lead early in the fourth before Canada settled down.
Courtnay Pilypaitis of Ottawa and Hamilton’s Shona Thorburn hit back-to-back three-pointers with about five minutes to go to give Canada a seven-point lead it nursed home.
Pilypaitis and Kim Smith of Mission, B.C., had 14 points each for Canada.
Torstar News Services