Olynyk Scores 13 But Canada Falters In Fourth Quarter Again
Aug. 31, 2010
IZMIR - Gonzaga University sophomore Kelly Olynyk came off the bench to score 13 points for Canada Tuesday, but it wasn't enough as undefeated (4-0) France handed Canada its third consecutive defeat 68-63 at the FIBA World Championship.
Olynyk went 4-for-5 from the field including connecting on his only 3-point attempt, had two rebounds and an assist, but Canada once again surrendered a fourth-quarter lead by getting outscored 22-15 in the final stanza.
Olynyk's Bulldog and fellow Canadian teammate Robert Sacre played 8 minutes, missed his only shot, hauled in a pair of rebounds, had a steal and blocked a shot.
Free throws proved the difference in the final period, where neither France nor Canada could create open shots. Canada hit 7-of-10 attempts from the line in the quarter while France was flawless in eight attempts. Canada connected on just 3-of-6 throws in the final five minutes.
While Canada's effort was tremendous, pulling in four offensive rebounds in the fourth quarter, they could not hit the open shots those boards created.
For France, Nicolas Batum (24 points, 7 rebounds) was superb, making big shots throughout the game, including 17 points in the second half. Canada's Levon Kendall - who missed two wide open 3-pointers to tie the game deep in the fourth - finished with 15 points to pace the Road Warriors.
Canada started strongly, with Kendall scoring five quick points to set up an 8-3 lead. In a physical struggle, the Road Warriors held that lead until a 6-2 France run in the final minute tied the score at 15 after one quarter.
The arm wrestle continued in the second quarter with Canada pushing the ball but struggling to break the French transition defense, while France had no answer for the tough interior defense of Joel Anthony and Kendall. The teams were deadlocked 28-28 at halftime.
France threatened to slip away in the third quarter when they led by four, but Kendall and Olynyk - Canada's captain at last year's FIBA U19 World Championship - strung together important buckets to give their country a 48-46 third-quarter lead.
The winless Canadians (0-3 in Group A) face New Zealand (1-2) Wednesday. Canada must win Wednesday and defeat Spain (1-2) Thursday to have any hope of advancing out of the preliminary round.
Germany (1-2 in Group D) and Gonzaga sophomore Elias Harris were idle Tuesday and return to action Wednesday against Angola (1-2), then conclude preliminary round play against Jordan (0-3). Germany needs at least one win to keep its hopes alive to advance beyond the preliminary round.
Former Bulldog J.P. Batista and Brazil (2-1), which just missed an upset over the USA (3-0) Sunday, return to action Wednesday against Slovenia (2-1) and conclude Group B play Thursday against Croatia (1-2). One more win all but assures Brazil the right to advance.
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