Great Britain’s women delivered a dominating team performance to crush Montenegro 80-58  in the first game of the Antalya Invitational in Turkey.

After uncertain offensive displays in the first three of their pre-Eurobasket friendlies in Guildford last week, Tom Maher’s side found much more joy on their fourth excursion after taking the lead for good late in the first quarter before accelerating away.

Lauren Thomas-Johnson, much more assured than 12 months ago, paved the way with 15 points and 4 rebounds but it was a balanced approach, the side going 23-for-56 from the field and making 4 of their 10 three-point attempts.

Roz Mason, enjoying a resurgence after being cut last summer, broken open an early stalemate to put GB 16-14 ahead at the close of the initial period.

A 17-3 run in the second, during which the Macedonians went scoreless for almost four minutes, raised the stakes. 39-21 in front at half-time, Britain fought for further gains and they came.

Rose Anderson scored 5 of her 7 points inside 40 seconds as the advantage grew to 60-35 with 1:23 left in the third.

Kim Butler, who notched a game-high 17 and added 6 rebounds, picked up a technical foul which helped Montenegro to cut the gap to 62-41 headed into the fourth.

Small matter. Butler converted a three point play to put her side as much as 72-45 clear with 5:05 remaining as Maher began to remove his starters with the mission accomplished, Mason eventually fouling out late on with 8 points and 7 rebounds.

Montenegro were led by 17 points from Jelena Dubgevic, with 15 coming from former WNBA All Star Anna De Forge.

Britain now face hosts Turkey on Thursday evening (5.15 UK). The Turks defeated Croatia 81-58 in their opener.

“We had a good team spirit and defended much better than they did,” said Maher.

“Our offensive rebounding was good. We are looking forward to playing the host nation tomorrow.”

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


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