Aussie women defeat Canada in Olympic warm-up
28 July 2016
BASKETBALL: Penny Taylor is back and she's firing, leading the Australian women's basketball team to a 80-67 win over Canada in the first of three Olympic warm-up matches.
Taylor missed part of Phoenix's WNBA season with a hip contusion and was expected to be rested from Thursday's (AEST) game in Delaware.
But the two-time Olympian overcame the injury to top score with 19 points and five rebounds.
Star centre Liz Cambage added 16 points and helped the Opals get off to a strong start, scoring half of her points in the first quarter.
Guard Erin Phillips, back after a stint in the WNBA with Dallas Wings, had 12 points and five assists.
Australia had a 23-point lead before their world No.9 opponents rallied to 69-65 midway through the final term.
A three-point play to Leilani Mitchell, who finished with 12 points, six rebounds and four assists, ended Canada's hopes and sparked an 11-0 burst to seal the game.
Coach Brendan Joyce played all of his 12-woman squad, although Cayla George saw barely 90 seconds of court time.
The Aussies will play world No.4 France in Connecticut on Saturday morning (AEST) before facing the Rio favourites Team USA at Madison Square Garden in New York on Monday.
Australia is chasing its first Olympic gold medal in Rio, having won either silver or bronze at each of the past five Games.