The Canadian women's basketball team had a tough second half on Wednesday against Japan, which inflicted Canada’s first loss of the 2017 Summer Universiade preliminary round with a score of 85-65.
Turnovers were costly for Fabian McKenzie’s squad, with the Japanese women capitalizing on most of them. The duel was the decider for first place in Group B. Canada (2-1) thus finishes second.
“I thought we had a great first half. We made a few mistakes, but we were really close to them at halftime,” said the Canadian head coach. “We weren’t very resilient in the second half. We told them at halftime, you better weather the storm that’s coming. We didn’t weather it well,” he added.
Canada committed no less than 31 turnovers in the game, compared with only 10 for Japan.
“It’s been our problem. We don’t take care of the basketball. I don’t know how we can fix that in the next few days but it’s something we have to keep working on.”
In front 20-18 after the first quarter, the Canadian women fell victim to Japan’s speed, who used it to cause turnovers and score. Meanwhile, the Canadians found themselves in an offensive rut, with Japan pulling ahead 37-30 at halftime. Turnovers were unfortunately multiplied in the third quarter, which the Japanese dominated 24-14. The Canadians, now behind 17 points, were unable to dig themselves out in the fourth quarter.
In terms of individual statistics, Paige Crozon led Canada with 16 points, while Ceejay Nofuente added 14 plus eight rebounds.
“We have to go back to work. We’re moving on to the top eight now, against Taipei or Sweden. I don’t know anything about them yet but, we’ll watch the film and see what we can do,” said McKenzie.
Canada’s quarter-final will take place on Friday, August 25 at 3:00 am EDT (Eastern time).