Standard Life Great Britain Women secured their place at EuroBasket 2011 in Poland, with a 77-59 hammering of Germany in Liverpool.
This will be Great Britain Women’s first time at EuroBasket – and they sealed their place in style – led by Julie Page’s 18 points and nine rebounds, assisted by Johannah Leedham’s 15 points. Roli-Ann Nikagbatse scored 14, in defeat for the Germans.
The damage was done in the first quarter, as the hosts raced to a 10-3 start – and despite a mini German run. Great Britain found themselves 20-13 up at the end of the first quarter, with Page scoring 10 of those points.
“We came to prove we could be competitive and I think we’ve done that.” Said coach, Tom Maher after the game had ended.
“We got within nine against Slovakia and I knew we could do that then. We can win games, and this team has massive potential to improve, and they have which has got us to the finals.”
Leedham converted on a three-point play, to put Great Britain up, 30-19 mid-way through the second quarter, as the visitors simply could not stop the British ladies determination and will to win in front of a loud Liverpool based following. An Azania Stewart lay-up and the customary triple from Leedham gave GB a commanding 47-24 lead at the half.
Stina Barnert opened the second half scoring for Germany, and the visitors started to creep back into the game – and they cut the lead down to 48-34 with 6:22 remaining, when Linda Frohich hit a trey, which forced a timeout from Maher.
The closest that Germany got to the hosts was 11 points. GB went into the final stanza 59-45 to the good. The fourth was a non-event, as the Germans looked a beaten team, and the Brits coasted to the finish line with back-to-back triple from Butler and Stephanie Collins.
“We ran over Germany tonight, and Julie gave us a great start with her rebounding. It’s a matter of being there all of the time and competing all the time – it was a magnificent effort.” Concluded Maher, who can now look forward to their first major basketball tourament in the same country that the men enjoyed just under a year ago.
John Hobbs for TalkBasket.net