Standard Life Great Britain ended their EuroBasket qualifying campaign with a 70-66 defeat in Ukraine – but, despite the loss, GB had already clinched a spot in next year’s EuroBasket in Poland.
Johannah Leedham led Great Britain’s scoring with 19 points, personal – Ukraine were led by Oleksandra Prystupa, who netted 17 points.
It was very disappointing, we could have won the game but we made too many bad decisions” Great Britain coach, Tom Maher said. “Nevertheless we shouldn’t detract from what the players have achieved this summer.”
Prolific scorers in this campaign, Julie Page and Johannah Leedham scored early for the visitors, as they took the early lead, 9-3. But Ukraine kept in touch, only for Leedham to give GB the lead again at the end of one, 17-15.
Ukraine though grabbed their first proper lead of the game, when Prystupa gave them a 21-19 lead – Jeneya Wade-Frey quickly levelled things up for the visitors. Towards the end, a Stephanie Collins lay-up gave GB a 41-38 advantage going into the half.
Leedham opened the game in the third, until Ukraine changed the game with a 12-0 spurt, to which the visitors never recovered from.
Julie Page ended Ukraine’s run, but by the time the fourth quarter arrived, the hosts were up, 59-52.
The fourth quarter saw a GB comeback, as triples from Leedham and Page cut the deficit – and when Page scored on a running jumper with three minutes left – the visitors were only two points down (61-63).
The hosts had enough in the tank, and for them secured a vital win.
John Hobbs for TalkBasket.net