gbw rachael vanderwal 568Great Britain lost 60-47 to Russia in Moscow on Thursday in their final tune-up before the qualifiers for EuroBasket Women.

It leaves Peter Buckle’s side with a 3-3 record in the build-up phase but, despite the loss, there were positives to take with the visitors daring to take the lead at half-time before the 2011 European champions stepped up.

With Lauren Thomas-Johnson returning from injury, the guests overcame an early 10-2 deficit against their hosts who altered their starting line-up from Wednesday’s opener.

However Temi Fagbenle, who has paced GB’s scoring in all six games in 2014, sparked a revival that saw her side grind out a 26-24 advantage at the break.

And while Russia were only 41-39 in front early in the fourth, a closing burst of seven straight points took them clear.

Fagbenle had a team-high nine points, with Buckle now preparing to make a final cut ahead of the opening qualifier with Belgium in Worcester on June 8.

Game 1: Russia crush GB

Great Britain lost 75-48 to Russia on Wednesday in Moscow in their penultimate warm-up for next month’s EuroBasket Women qualifiers

Peter Buckle’s side were undone by a 22-8 run in second quarter from the hosts who led 42-21 at half-time.

And although GB, paced by 11 points and nine rebounds from Temi Fagbenle, hit back in the fourth, the rally came too late.

“Russia are tough, they’re always going to be tough because they have a good understanding of basketball and they have a lot of experience in that group,” said Buckle.

“It’s good for us though to play against these sides and experience a different style from what we’ve seen against Germany and Italy. They’ll use the ball well if you allow them too and it’s up to us to channel our defence.”

The sides meet again on Thursday afternoon.

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