TURKEY GOBBLE UP GB

Great Britain’s women suffered a 73-51 defeat to Turkey at the Antalya Invitational but showed signs of progress as their build-up to next month’s Eurobasket finals continues.

But there were positive portents as coach Tom Maher looks to refine his team at both ends of the floor as Poland nears ever closer.

“Turkey are an A-grade team, their speed, decision making and shooting are a level above,” said Maher.

“I’m pleased as we are adjusting well to this level of competition, we fought hard throughout and never quit which is very positive. We will learn from this game and be better for the experience.”

The tournament hosts, who mauled Croatia in their opener, maintained that rich vein of form, with a 6-1 start as GB struggled to find their shooting touch.

However Maher’s side woke up and hit back, Rachel Vanderwal converting two free throws to give the visitors their only lead of the game with 5:08 remaining in the first quarter.

Down 7-6, Turkey immediately responded with eight unanswered points. GB – shooting just 2 of 13 early on – cut the gap to 14-11 at the end of the first before again falling off the pace.

Another quarter, another series of runs. A 9-0 run – spearheaded by Julie Page who had a team-high 11 points in the game – brought GB back to trail 26-24. Then the home side reeled off an 8-1 spurt before Page reduced their cushion to 34-27 at half-time.

However in the second half, the powerful Turks quickly extended the gap into double figures and, after leading 54-36 at the close of the third, asserted control to run out comfortable winners, paced by a game-high 13 from Nevin Nevlin.

Earlier on Thursday, Croatia – led by 20 points, including the game-winner, from Anna Lelas – edged out Montenegro 82-80.

Britain face the Croats on Friday afternoon in their final game in Antalya (2pm UK). The Turks meet Montenegro (4.15).

Notes: Jo Leedham and Yemi Oyefuwa (injured) and Meagan Hoffman were inactive again.

 


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