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Cuba defeats Canada for FIBA Americas women’s title

Tamara Tatham went 10-for-13 from the field and scored 25 points in Canada’s 79-71 to Cuba in the FIBA Americas championship final in Xalapa, Mexico on Saturday. (file photo)

KEVIN VAN PAASSEN/THE GLOBE AND MAIL

Canada's women's basketball team had to settle for a silver medal after losing 79-71 to Cuba in the FIBA Americas championship final on Saturday.

Forward Tamara Tatham of Brampton, Ont., was the high-scorer for Canada with 25 points. Tatham went 10-for-13 from the field, and was 4-for-4 from the free throw line.

Miranda Ayim of London, Ont., was the only other Canadian in double figures with 13 points.

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Oyanaisy Gelis finished with 19 points to lead four Cubans in double figures.

A late 9-2 run helped Cuba build a 20-15 lead after the first quarter. Cuba extended its lead to 45-30 at the half, and it was 58-47 after three quarters.

"I'm proud of how hard they competed tonight, right down to the final minutes, we were in a position to win, but Cuba deserves full credit for a tremendous game," said Canadian coach Lisa Thomaidis

Canada finished 13-of-18 from the free throw line, while Cuba was 22-of-26.

Brazil defeated Puerto Rico 66-56 to earn the bronze medal, and the region's third spot in the world's.

Canada, which finished the tournament 5-1, already clinched a spot in the 2014 world championship in Turkey with a win over Puerto Rico in the semifinals.

"We're going to draw from this experience and grow from it," said Thomaidis. "The lessons we have learned here will be invaluable as we set our sights on next year's world championship."

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