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Klassen helps put Canada into semifinals at World Student Games

July 14, 2013

Owen Klassen didn’t score a lot Sunday morning but the one field goal he did score was an important one in Canada’s 88-77 quarter-final win over Brazil at the World Student Games in Kazan, Russia

Klassen’s basket, midway through the third quarter, ended a six-point run that had put the Brazilians into the lead. It put Canada back in front, 49-48, and the Canadians never trailed after that.

In 22 minutes of playing time, Klassen shared the team lead with six rebounds, as Canada held a 47-27 advantage under the glass.

The Bayridge Secondary School grad, playing for Canada via Acadia University, will be on the floor again Monday when the Canadians face Russia in the semifinals at 4:30 p.m. local time (8:30 a.m. EDT).

Russia defeated Romania 78-53 in its quarter-final match Sunday.

The other semifinal will pit Australia, 55-50 winner Sunday over Lithuania, against Serbia. The Serbs won their quarter-final, 88-43 over Estonia.

In Sunday’s game, Canada fell behind by as many as five points in the first quarter, and trailed 20-17 at the end of it. The Canadians enjoyed a one-point lead at halftime, 38-37, before outscoring the Brazilians 21-15 in the third quarter.

Canada has won nine medals in the 21 times they’ve participated in the men’s basketball tournament at the Summer Universiade, most recently silver in 2011 in Shenzhen, China.

Canada has won the gold medal once, in 1983 in Edmonton. Coincidentally, there was a Kingston native — Dan Meagher, by then living in St. Catharines — on the Canadian team that was coached that year by Jack Donohue.

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