NEWS
08/08/2016 11:12 EDT | Updated 08/09/2017 01:12 EDT

Canada defeats Serbia 71-67 in women's basketball

RIO DE JANEIRO — Canada's women's basketball team defeated Serbia 71-67 at the Rio Olympics on Monday.

The Canadians are 2-0 on the tournament, after beating China 90-68 in their opener. The Serbs lost their opener 65-59 to Spain. 

The top four from each of the two six-team pools advance to the quarter-finals.

Canada raced out to an early eight-point lead at Youth Arena, but the Serbs tied it up 21-21 to end the first quarter.

Canada's lacklustre defensive effort saw Serbia lead 40-32 at halftime. 

Serbia led by as many as 18 points in the third quarter, and took a 57-45 advantage into the fourth.

The Canadians proved resurgent, scoring 26 points in the fourth quarter.

No. 14-ranked Serbia is a team on the rise, winning the European championships last year to become the second team behind the United States to claim an Olympic berth.  

The ninth-ranked Canadians, meanwhile, captured an historic first-ever gold at the Pan American Games last summer in Toronto, then winning the FIBA Americas Olympic qualifying tournament in Edmonton a couple weeks later. 

Canada's roster here is identical to the one that won Pan Am gold, and also includes seven players from the 2012 London Olympic squad which reached the quarter-finals. 

The Canadians face Senegal on Wednesday. The mighty Americans plus Spain are the other teams in Canada's group.

Canada's top Olympic finish was fourth at the 1984 Games in Los Angeles.