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Steve Russell/Toronto Star

Steve Russell/Toronto Star

After a steal Shona Thorburn runs the floor as Canada defeats Brazil 79-73 in the women's basketball tournament at the London 2012 Olympic Games at the Basketball Arena in London.

Canadian women’s basketball team reaches quarter-finals with 79-73 win over Brazil


Doug Smith

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

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