France beats Canada 68-63, reaches women’s basketball semis

France beats Canada 68-63, reaches women's basketball semis

Sandrine Gruda

RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — France is headed back to a familiar place — the women’s basketball semifinals.

Sandrine Gruda scored 14 points and Valeriane Ayayi added 12 to help France beat Canada 68-63 on Tuesday night. The victory set up a rematch of the 2012 gold medal game with the U.S., a game France lost by 36 points.

Trailing 52-50 early in the fourth quarter, France (4-2) scored eight straight points. Canada rallied to within 60-59 with 1:55 left, but couldn’t get over the top. Kia Nurse missed a jumper 40 seconds later that would have given the Canadians the lead. Olivia Epoupa, replacing injured guard Celine Dumerc, calmly sank two free throws to make it a three-point game.

The loss ended a solid Olympic run by Canada, which was trying to make the semifinals for the first time since 1984. Kim Gaucher had 15 points to lead Canada (3-3).

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