London, England, United Kingdom (4E Sports) – Reserve Shona Thorburn scored eight of his 18 points in the final four minutes to lead Canada past a tough Great Britain side, 73-65, Sunday for its first win in Olympic women’s basketball play since 2000.
Thorburn, a seventh overall pick in 2006 by the Minnesota Lynx in the WNBA, buried a jumper to spark a telling 11-2 run that turned a 59-61 deficit into a 70-63 lead with one minute remaining in the game.
She then buried three free throws to seal the win as the Canadians bounced back from a heartbreaking 58-53 loss to Russia after squandering a 10-point lead in the last four minutes.
Kim Smith and Courtney Pilypaitis added 11 points apiece for Canada while Johannah Leedham and Natalie Stafford paced Britain with 15 points each.
Canada shot 46 percent from the floor compared to just 39.1 percent clip by the British. The Canadians also outrebounded their rivals, 33-27, and had more assists (21-14), steals, (10-9) and blocks (6-2).
The Canadians, who are making their first Olympic appearance in women’s basketball in 12 years, are now 1-1 in the tournament while Britain fell to 0-2.
Canada is in Group B together with France, Russia, Australia, Brazil and Great Britain.
France and Russia are tied in first place with identical 2-0 cards, Australia and Canada share second with 1-1 marks while Great Britain and Brazil are winless after two games.
Canada will face France Wednesday, while Great Britain looks for its first win of the tournament against Russia Wednesday.