Great Britain lost 76-70 to Croatia to end up winless at EuroBasket Women.

But even with their hopes of making the second round, or qualifying for the 2016 Olympics, ending 24 hours before, at least they went down fighting before a late push from their rivals ensured GB would finish at the foot of Group C in Szombathely.

An 11-0 run took the Croats, needing victory to keep their chances of advancing alive, 23-10 in front in an opening quarter blitz.

Steadily, GB edged their way back within sight with Stef Collins finding some joy from deep and Pete Buckle’s side picking up a little momentum, even when trailing 45-36 at half-time.

Rachael Vanderwal, who pulled off a team-best 20 points, sparked an 10-1 burst in the third period which took Britain ahead for the first time.

Seven successive points immediately put Croatia up 62-58 heading into the fourth before Spanish-based pairing Vanderwal and the under-utilised Ella Clark overturned the deficit.

But amid a shift to a larger line-up, Iva Sliskovic turned the tide for good and a 6-0 run with three minutes left provided a cushion that could not be eroded, even with Temi Fagbenle capping a terrific tournament with another double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds.

“We’re obviously disappointed we didn’t take the last opportunity we had to get a win under our belt and truly show who we are as a team,” said Vanderwal. “We came out too slow and fought hard to catch up, but we didn’t make enough shots at the end to take the win.

“Now we have to re-group and look forward as it is only a few months until we start the qualification games for the next EuroBasket Women tournament. We also need to congratulate the younger players like Jay-Ann Bravo-Harriott who have come into the team and showed the potential for the future.”

Iva Borovic had 23 points to pace Croatia, who made the second round after Russia defeated Serbia 77-53 later to hand them third place in the group ahead of Latvia.

Group C final standings: 1. Russia (3-1), 2. Serbia (3-1), 3. Croatia (2-2), 4. Latvia (2-2), 5. Great Britain (0-4)

Group A: 1. France, 2. Montenegro, 3. Czech Rep, 4. Ukraine, 5. Romania

Group B: 1. Belarus, 2. Turkey, 3. Greece, 4. Italy, 5. Poland

Group D: 1. Spain, 2. Slovakia, 3. Lithuania, 4. Sweden, 5. Hungary

(Top three qualify for Second Round)

Twitter UpdatesGame stats

Share and Enjoy:
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • MySpace
  • Print

You must be logged in to post a comment Login