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Canada falls to France in FIBA women’s exhibition

Canadian women's national basketball team coach Allison McNeill directs her team during practice at the University of the Fraser Valley in Abbotsford, B.C., on Wednesday May 16, 2012. DARRYL DYCK FOR THE GLOBE AND MAIL

DARRYL DYCK/The Globe and Mail

Canada's senior women's basketball team fell behind early and couldn't recover Saturday, dropping a 66-41 decision to France to conclude an exhibition tournament with a 2-1 record.

Kim Smith of Mission, B.C., led the Canadian team in scoring with 10 points.

The game marked Canada's final warm-up prior to the FIBA World Olympic qualifying tournament, which begins later this month in Turkey.

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"We played a strong second half after a very slow start," Canadian coach Allison McNeill said. "This was a great tournament here in France with three excellent games. It was great preparation for our team."

France jumped out to a 23-5 lead at the end of the first quarter and led 43-18 at the break.

Both teams locked it down defensively in the second half, with France still holding a commanding 55-28 lead after three quarters.

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