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Canada beats Kenya to open women's 3x3 basketball Olympic qualifier

Canada women's basketball Michelle and Katherine Plouffe - The Canadian Press

UTSUNOMIYA, Japan — Paige Crozon had a team-high 10 points Friday as Canada opened with a 19-12 win over Kenya at a women's 3x3 basketball Olympic qualifying tournament.

Crozon was effective from long-range with four two-pointers.

Twin sisters Michelle and Katherine Plouffe added six rebounds apiece in the win.

After a close start, Crozon scored six straight points to give Canada an 11-5 lead with 5:59 remaining.

Kenya responded, and a bucket from Victoria Reynolds trimmed Canada’s lead to 12-10.

Katherine Plouffe answered with a bucket, then Crozon drilled her fourth two-pointer of the game to push the lead back to five, and Canada locked in defensively from there.

Canada, which also includes Kacie Bosch, must win the tournament to qualify for the 2024 Paris Games. The Canadians next face the Netherlands on Saturday.

"It was a good opener for us and exposed some things we want to improve upon and grow upon as we progress in the tournament," Crozon said.

"It was a good way to knock off some of the rust and play together. We’re looking forward to building off of that moving forward."

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 3, 2024.