UKRAINE DEAL GB WOMEN A LAST KNOCK

Great Britain’s women ended their Eurobasket qualifying campaign with a 70-66 defeat to Ukraine in Dnipropetrovsk, despite a game-high 19 points from Jo Leedham.

Tom Maher’s side – who finish with a 4-2 record – were already assured of topping their group after securing a spot in Poland next summer with a win over Germany on Thursday.

But after leading 41-38 at half-time, a third quarter surge from Ukraine saw them race after the interval and they held on to earn at least a spot in the Additional Qualifying Round for Eurobasket next July. Ukraine now need Germany to pull out an unlikely victory over Slovakia later to go through to Poland.

“It was very disappointing,” said Maher. “We could have won the game but we made too many bad decisions. Nevertheless, it shouldn’t detract from what the players have achieved this summer.”

Ukraine used a 12-0 run in the third quarter to take control of the game, a lay-up from Maryna Sazonenko sparking a dominating spell, capped when a Inna Kochubei three-pointer put them 52-47 on top.

The gap reached 59-49,on Sazonenko’s three-pointer at the end of the third period but Britain stormed back, slicing the gap to 63-61 on Julie Page’s jump-shot with 3:37 to go.

Ukraine recovered with a decisive 7-0 burst with a late GB rally coming too late.

Jo Leedham led the visitors with 19 points while Kim Butler added 11 points and 7 rebounds.

Oleksandra Prystupa led Ukraine with 17 points and 10 rebounds, while Nataliia Isachenko had 14 points, and Sazonenko and Olena Ogorodnikova had 13 each.

Notes: GB were without guard Rose Anderson who was forced to remain in the UK due to food poisoning.

With the Division A Qualifying Round complete the eight teams who won the right to play in the EuroBasket Women 2011 Final Round are:

Group A: Lithuania and Croatia

Group B: Israel and Latvia

Group C: Turkey and Montenegro

Group D: Great Britain and Slovakia

The above join the six European teams that play in the 2010 FIBA World Championship for Women and thus have qualified automatically for the EuroBasket Women 2011 Final Round:

France,
Russia,
Spain,
Belarus, Greece,
Czech Republic (Organisers of the World Championship)

Poland are qualified automatically as the hosts of the event.

The EuroBasket Women 2011 Final Round will take place in the Polish cities of Bydgoszcz, Katowice and Łódz, June 18 – July 3 2011.

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