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Canada loses close game to host Spain in U19 women's basketball semifinal

Canada vs. Spain at women's under-19 basketball World Cup Canada vs. Spain at women's under-19 basketball World Cup - Basketball Canada

MADRID — Iyana Martin Carrion had 24 points, five assists and four rebounds as Spain beat Canada 77-70 in the women's under-19 basketball World Cup semifinal on Saturday.

Awa Fam also had 17 points and eight boards for Spain, which will meet the United States in Sunday's final.

Toby Fournier led the way for Canada with 20 points and seven rebounds.

The loss denied Canada’s hopes of reaching the gold medal at the FIBA U19 Women’s Basketball World Cup for the first time in the country’s history. The Canadians will play France for bronze, also on Sunday.

Spain led by as many as 13 points in the third quarter, but Canada fought back to make it a one-point game in the fourth.

The home side ultimately hung on, winning the game at the free-throw line in the late stages.

“Our team absolutely battled their butts off and left it all on the floor in a really, really challenging environment,” said Canada head coach Carly Clarke.

“It was very loud, Spain is a great team that we played against, and we had a chance to take the lead in the last minute, so I don’t think there’s much more you can ask for in a game like that.”

Canada will now turn its attention to Sunday’s bronze-medal game against France (12:30 p.m. ET) with the hopes of the country’s second-ever podium finish at the tournament.

“Right now, it's about working through this one and waking up tomorrow being ready to go and reminding ourselves what we came here to do and hopefully finish it all off on a win,” said Clarke.

The defending-champion U.S. beat France 80-57 earlier on Saturday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published July 22, 2023.