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Canadian women win big in Olympic basketball qualifier

Canada's Miranda Joy Ayim goes for a basket against Mali's Aminata Traore (L) and Farima Toure (R) during their 2012 women's FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Ankara June 25, 2012.

UMIT BEKTAS/REUTERS

Courtnay Pilypaitis scored 15 points and 11 teammates also got on the scoreboard as Canada thumped Mali 89-23 in the opening game for both teams at a FIBA Olympic qualifying tournament Monday.

The Africans made just eight of 52 shots, scoring six, four, four and nine points in the four quarters.

Kimberley Smith had 11 points for Canada while Miranda Aym added 10.

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Nassira Traore led Mali with seven points.

Canada, ranked 11th in the world, outrebounded No. 19 Mali 58-19.

The Canadians, ranked fourth at the tournament, must finish in the top five at the 12-team qualifier to earn a spot in London. Canada plays No. 8 France on Tuesday.

The Canadian women have not made it to the Olympics since the 2000 Sydney Games.

The Canadians failed to earn a London berth at the FIBA Americas qualifying tournament last fall, but their third-place finish guaranteed them a spot in the last-chance qualifier in Turkey.

Canada's only team qualified for London so far is women's soccer.

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