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Canada to play for bronze after 65-41 loss to Russia at FIBA U19 semifinals

UDINE, Italy — Canada will play for the bronze medal at the FIBA under-19 women's World Cup after a 65-41 semifinal loss to Russia on Saturday.

The Canadians, who were hoping to advance to the finals at the tournament for the first time, will face Japan in the third-place match on Sunday.

"When you get to this point in a world championship the games get increasingly tougher," said Canada's coach Carly Clarke. "Russia came out very prepared, shot well in the first half and just outplayed us.

"Their physicality influenced our play and we weren't able to bounce back. Now we look ahead and focus on trying to bring a bronze medal home to Canada tomorrow." 

Russia, the defending silver medallists, will play the defending champion Americans for the gold medal on Sunday. The United States downed Japan 73-66 in Saturday's other semifinal.

Raisa Musina led the No. 5 ranked Russians with a game-high 22 points and 16 rebounds against Canada. Maria Vadeeva had 13 points and 11 boards and Viktoriia Zavialova and Daria Kurilchuk added 10 points apiece.

Hamilton's Hailey Brown had seven points and five rebounds to lead Canada while Sarah Donovan of London, Ont., added six points and one rebound. Alyssa Jerome of Toronto, Shaina Pellington of Pickering, Ont., and Regina's Angela Bongomin added five points apiece.

Russia outmatched the Canadians from the start, opening a 20-10 lead by the end of the first quarter and a 43-17 lead at the half. Canada was held to just seven points each in the second and third quarters but outscored Russia 17-9 in the final frame.

The Canadians shot 25.67 per cent from the field and were 1 of 15 from three-point range. Russia sank 11 of its 22 three-pointers and outrebounded Canada 58-42.

"Today was definitely a tough game," Jerome said. "We got away from what was working for us which was playing as a team. Russia is a great team and we struggled against them. We have to look past what happened today and get ready for tomorrow. We are still competing for a medal which was our goal coming into the tournament and we are hoping to finish with a bronze."

The Canadian Press

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