Saskatoon native Krista Phillips and U of S head coach Lisa Thomaidis, who is an assistant coach with the Olympic team, helped the women’s basketball team to a 73-65 win over Great Britain on July 30.
It was Canada’s first victory on the Olympic stage since 2000.
“We are focused on one game at a time, and going from there,” said Phillips via email from London prior to the contest.
Phillips scored six points, saw just over 17 minutes of court-time and was a key part of Canada’s offence and defence in the contest. A huge rebound in the third quarter and subsequent back-to-back free throws by Phillips kept Canada on top late in the game.
“We’re hard to beat when we play at our level,” she added.
Canada ended the first half with a 36-32 lead, but found themselves in a slippery situation after Britain retained a late lead.
Britain relished a 61-57 lead midway through the final frame but couldn’t hold their colonial cousin at bay. Canada’s Shona Thorburn nailed two consecutive free throws to seal the win with an eight-point cushion.
Britain’s loss was much to the displeasure of the noisy home team fans. Prior to the game, Phillips was looking forward to silencing the English crowd.
“They will be loud, but we didn’t come to the Olympics to not have a crowd. We expect it, and are looking forward to the chance to silence the crowd,” said Phillips.
Canada is now 1-1 in preliminary play, following a narrow 58-53 loss to Russia last week. Canada faces France, ranked eighth, on Aug. 2.