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Canada falls to China at Four Nations women’s basketball tournament

In this file photo, point guard Kia Nurse of the Canadian womenâs national basketball team during a practice at the David Braley Centre on the McMaster University campus in Hamilton May 17, 2013. Nurse scored eight points in Canada’s 70-44 loss to China at the Four Nations basketball tournament on Saturday.

Moe Doiron/The Globe and Mail

Canada lost its first game at the Four Nations women's basketball tournament, falling 70-44 to China on Saturday.

Tamara Tatham of Brampton, Ont., led the Canadians (1-1) with 10 points in her 100th game for the national team. Kia Nurse added eight points for Canada, which outrebounded China 27-17.

The Chinese (2-0) pressured Canada early with a balanced attack and opened up the game with a 14-4 stretch before finishing the half with 36-21 advantage.

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Canada tried to mount a comeback, but China held the Canadian offence in check while putting together an impressive shooting display en route to a 22-7 third quarter. Canada outscored the Chinese side 16-12 in the final frame, but the outcome had already been decided.

"We struggled against their defensive pressure tonight," said Canadian head coach Lisa Thomaidis. "China really presented some difficulties for us and played tougher defence than we've seen so far this summer. This will be a good game for us to go back and watch film from in order to improve."

"We started well today, but we got caught up with their defence and that really hurt us," added Tatham.

Canada will take on Puerto Rico on Sunday before travelling to Nanjing for the second leg of the tournament.

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