Canada's senior basketball women charged back in the second half against a tough Czech Republic squad, winning a 66-64 nail-biter in exhibition action in France Friday.
The win, Canada's third in a row on this trip as it prepares for its Olympic qualifer at the end of the month, came after the Canucks took their first lead in the game with under three minutes to go and held off the pressing Czechs.
Kitchener's Chelsea Aubry had 8 points on the match and Guelph's Natalie Achonwa, a day after being sidelined with a stomach flu, scored 7.
The win against the fourth-ranked Czechs is an upset for the 11th-ranked Canadians, who battled back and forth for the lead in the dying minutes of the game. Kim Smith of Mission, B.C. had a game-high 19 points and five rebounds. Courtnay Pilypaitis of Orleans, Ont. added 10 points and four steals.
"This was an excellent win by our team tonight, we had a great performance off our bench and it was a total team win," said head coach Allison McNeill
Achonwa played almost 15 minutes while Aubry was on the court for more than 17 minutes. The pair were a key part of Canada's defensive effort that frustrated the Czech offense in the third and fourth quarters, combining for six rebounds.
The national team is hoping for its first Olympic berth since 2000. They'll play one more exhibition game, tomorrow at 2 p.m. vs. France, which you can follow here.
The FIBA World Olympic Qualifier in Turkey starts June 26. The top five teams in that tournament earn berths to London.