LITHUANIA HAND GB MAIDEN REVERSE

steph gandy 568Great Britain’s women suffered the first loss of their EuroBasket qualifying campaign with an 81-61 drubbing to Lithuania in Kedainiai on Sunday.

A 26-8 blitz from the hosts in the second half brushed aside the challenge of Peter Buckle’s side, who were led by a game-16 points from Temi Fagbenle.

GB could not resist the all-consuming pressure from the Lithuanians who forced 23 turnovers and a succession of bad shots, while also profiting from their efficient outside shooting.

And with a 2-1 record, the British now travel onwards to Antwerp for what could be a pivotal game with Belgium on Wednesday night.

Fagbenle: game-high (Mansoor Ahmed)

Fagbenle: game-high (Mansoor Ahmed)

Fagbenle scored eight in the opening period as the visitors claimed a 13-11 after ten minutes but their hopes of an upset slipped rapidly away.

A 9-0 run put Lithuania in control as they eased into a 35-20 lead at half-time.

With Stef Collins – who ended with 14 points and ten rebounds – in foul trouble, Buckle’s women were held scoreless for over four minutes as their Group B rivals reeled off eleven points without reply.

And Lithuania, paced by 14 points and six rebounds from their canny centre Gintare Petronyte, used 6/14 shooting from three-point range to cruise as much as 72-48 clear as they coasted to their third win of this campaign to edge to the brink of qualification for next year’s finals in Hungary and Romania.

Gabriele Gutkauskaite and Kamile Nacickaite also scored 14 apiece for the victors.

Elsewhere, the Belgians picked up their opening win with a comprehensive 94-66 defeat of Macedonia.

Group B standings:

1. Lithuania (3-0)

2. Great Britain (2-1)

3. Belgium (1-2)

4. Macedonia (0-3)

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