RIO DE JANEIRO (Rio 2016 Olympic Games) - Spain cemented second place in Group B of the Women's Olympic Basketball Tournament with a 73-60 win over Canada on Sunday night and bringing to a close the Group Phase at the Youth Arena.
It was Spain's third win in a row as they finished 4-1 in the pool stage. They will take on Turkey - who came in third in Group A - in Tuesday's Quarter-Finals at Carioca Arena 1.
Canada suffered a second consecutive loss that dropped them to 3-2, leaving them third in the group. A date with France in the Last Eight now awaits.
Spain led for most of the contest but Canada stayed within striking distance and it was only in the final quarter that the Spaniards pulled away to put the result beyond doubt.
Marta Xargay banked in a three-pointer to beat the halftime buzzer and give Spain a 33-29 edge heading into the break. They picked up right where they left off at the start to start the second half, using a 12-6 run to increase their advantage to 45-35.
Canada answered right back with a surge of their own, accounting for 12 of the last 16 points in the third quarter to get within 49-47 on Kim Gaucher's basket in the dying seconds of the period.
The Spaniards pulled away for good in the final frame, hitting six free-throws as part of 11 unanswered points to lead 60-47 with 5:32 to go.
Turning Point: Laura Gil and Silvia Dominguez combined to score the last 6 points in Spain's 11-0 fourth quarter run by going 6-of-6 at the free-throw line. With Canada in the penalty early, Spain went a further 8-of-10 at the charity stripe and that ultimately proved the difference as they outscored them 24-13 in the period.
Stats Don't Lie: Canada had just 9 assists and turned the ball over 17 times.
Hero: While Alba Torrens (game-high 20 points) and Marta Xargay (13 points off the bench) took care of the offense, Laura Nicholls made her presence felt in Spain's paint at both ends of the court, finishing with 8 points and 12 rebounds.
Bottom Line: Heading into the Quarter-Finals on the back of three wins in a row is sure to have Spain feeling confident and fired up. As for Canada, they will have to figure out some kinks if they're to give 2012 silver medalists France a run for their money on Tuesday.
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