July 20, 2015 11:04 pm
Updated: July 21, 2015 8:59 pm

Canadian women beat the U.S. 81-73 to collect 1st-ever Pan Am basketball gold


TORONTO – Kia Nurse poured in 33 points to lift Canada’s women’s basketball team to a 81-73 victory over the United States on Monday night for its first-ever Pan American Games gold medal.

Natalie Achonwa added 13 in her first tournament with Canada since tearing the anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee last year.

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Tamara Tatham chipped in with 10 points for the Canadians, whose depth and attention to defence made them the class of the tournament as they reeled off five wins in five nights.

The Canadians led by as many as 17 points in front of a delirious sell-out crowd of about 3,300 flag-waving fans at Ryerson University’s Mattamy Athletic Centre.

The Americans would pull within five points twice in the fourth quarter, and trailed just 78-73 with 18 seconds to play.

A free throw by Achonwa and then two by Nurse with seven seconds left sealed Canada’s victory.

© 2015 The Canadian Press

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