Great Britain lose 60-48 to Italy in Manchester in their second EuroBasket Women qualifier.

Live Stats – Twitter

Summary: Chantelle Handy hit a team-high 16 points for GB who rallied from trailing 36-23 early in the third quarter to cut the deficit to two with a 7-0 run at the start of the fourth.

But Laura Macchi, who scored a game-best 27 points, spurred the Azzurre to a late decisive burst of ten unanswered points to fend off Chema Buceta’s side and take an early lead at the top of Group C.

GB’s next qualifier is in February at home against Albania, who were crushed 99-39 by Montenegro.

Group C standings:

1. Italy (2-0) 181-79
2. Montenegro (2-0) 177-103
3. Great Britain (0-2) 112-138
4. Albania (0-2) 77-220

Post-game Reaction
Head coach, Jose Maria Buceta: “It would have been good to have won this game, but in the second quarter we couldn’t find a position to take and make good shots. We made some mistakes defensively and they scored 22 points in that second quarter and that was the key to the game. After half-time they extended their lead but we found some new ideas that worked well and the girls showed courage in their quest to win the game when we got it back to 46-44.

“The situation is not good, but we still have four games to play and we have to aim to beat Albania twice, Montenegro at home and Italy away. We have hope and we are heading in the right direction as a team – even if the results have not showed it just yet.”

Jo Leedham: “We played a really good Italian team, so we have to think about that first. They were a good opposition and we put up a fight. This team relies on me to score more and so that hurt the team a lot, although it was not just me – we all have to make shots.

“We tried different defences at times, but Italy just seemed to always hit a big shot as we were gaining some momentum. It was a great effort after coming together in 10 days with a new coach.
Despite losing the games, we should be really proud of our effort.”

Captain, Azania Stewart: “I am very disappointed with myself offensively as I just couldn’t get it going. We have dug ourselves into a bit of a hole, but there is still hope and we know what we need to do. We know we have to do better – all of us.

“There are still positives to take away from this – not least the way the crowd packed out the venue and cheered for us right until the end, having helped us to come back into the game. Italy shot the ball really well at the most important moments and so credit to them as they really did hit some big shots.”


2041  It’s all over. Handy has 16 points, Leedham gets a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds but shoots 2-for-15. Outside of Handy, rest of team go 7-for-48 from the field. Laura Macchi, superlative all night, ends with a game-high 26 points for the victors. Reaction to follow.

2037 GB getting to the line with Italy in the penalty. A pair from Stewart, then Leedham make it 56-48 with 1:44 to go. Now would be a good time for a three-ball to drop.

2034 It’s a 10-0 run as GB miss eight successive field goal attempts. With 3:30 left, miracles required.

2029 From hope to hurt, as an 8-0 Italian run inspired by Macchi re-asserts their control after Handy gets hit with a technical. They sweep 54-44 ahead with 4:45 remaining.

2024 Vanderwal and the under-rated Georgia Jones hit consecutive jumpers and Italy’s lead cut to 46-44 with 7:25 left after a 7-0 start to the fourth.

2018  Great Britain 37-46 Italy End 3rd Handy proving to be, erm, adept. But even with Leedham pushing herself to the max, she needs extra offensive help in the fourth if the Brits are to pull off an Italian job.

2016 Handy drains a trey and its 45-37 and suddenly we have some hope.

2015 Naylor hits a much-needed three to make it 42-31 but Giorgia Sottana immediately responds in kind. Hosts holding on – just.

Manchester mayhem (Mansoor Ahmed / BB)

Manchester mayhem (Mansoor Ahmed / BB)

2012 Chantelle Handy has a team-best 13 points for GB. Rest of the team shooting a combined 3-for-25 as they trail 39-29 with 4:20 left in 2nd. Simpson, Vanderwal, Naylor and Clark combined 0-for-14

2008 Nadalin increases the Azzure cushion to 36-23 but Handy and Leedham hit back to cut the deficit to single figures again. GB doing a much better job of picking up offensive boards than they did in Podgorica.

2000 We’re underway for the second half. Azania is back on. Elsewhere in Group C, Montenegro are up 42-23 at half-time over Albania.

1945 Great Britain 23-29 Italy HT Huge turnaround. Italy close the half with another 11-2 run with Laura Macchi now on a game-high 12 points. Handy leads GB on 9 but they’ve collectively converted a horrific 2/13 from the field to date with Leedham harassed into 1-for-8 and Azania Stewart off with an ankle injury.

1937 After building an 18-7 lead, GB are held scoreless for almost seven minutes as the visitors pull off an 11-0 run to draw level. Good crowd in though.

1921: Great Britain 16-7 Italy End 1st Handy with 6 points, Italy shooting just 2/16 from the field. A promising start from the hosts.

1912: A 7-0 run puts GB 11-4 ahead with 4:34 left in the 1st as Chantelle Handy heads the early charge AP_GB_ITA_25112015_3502 Team news: Buceta sticks with same 12 tonight v Italy, leaves out Dee Hayward. Eilidh Simpson starts in 3-guard line-up ahead of Dom Allen. GB starters: Vanderwal, Simpson, Leedham, Handy, Stewart – Italy starters: Gorini, Macchi, Dotto, Masciadri, Formica

GB looking to bounce back at the Amaechi Centre from their 78-64 loss in Montenegro on Saturday. Italy, however, coming off that 121-38 battering inflicted upon hapless Albania who are facing the Montenegrins later tonight.

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

You must be logged in to post a comment Login