EuroBasket Women: GB beat Ukraine to keep quarter-final hopes alive


Great Britain secured a play-off against Montenegro for a place in the last eight of Women’s EuroBasket by beating Ukraine 68-54 in their final group game.

Temi Fagbenle was again top scorer, with 22 points, while Karlie Samuelson and Johannah Leedham added 10 each.

Ukraine took a brief third-quarter lead but GB recovered to take the victory.

They then had to wait for the result of Spain v Latvia – Group A’s last game – with automatic qualification possible.

Team-mate Chantelle Handy paid tribute to Fagbenle for her performance, saying: “Unbelievable – she is huge for us. Teams are always going to be ready for her and she always makes great reads. She gets banged about in there but she still goes to work every time.”

The forward, who plays for Minnesota Lynx in the WNBA, carried on where she left off against Spain in the last game, taking 10 first-quarter points with her inside skills, while Handy added two threes as GB settled into a first-quarter advantage.

The lead reached double figures when Samuelson splashed a three in a 7-0 run, with GB’s cause being helped by Ukraine missing all 18 of the three-point shots they took in the half.

But Ukraine’s best player, Alina Iagupova, hit two of them in the third quarter to bring her team back to within a point and GB found themselves under pressure, losing the lead on the last play of the period.

Fagbenle’s six points in a row and threes from Samuelson and Rachael Vanderwal restored the double-digit advantage on a 19-2 GB run that assured them at least a play-off game on Monday.

Group A
P W L F A +/- Pts
Spain 3 3 0 221 192 29 6
Great Britain 3 2 1 201 181 20 5
Latvia 3 1 2 198 207 -9 4
Ukraine 3 0 3 205 245 -40 3

Handy added: “We made a few mistakes and Ukraine just got momentum and they they capitalised on that. But we levelled our heads and got back into the game again.”

GB’s play-off, set up by the Montenegrins’ surprise 13-point win over the Czech Republic and Latvia’s narrow defeat to Spain, will be at 19:00 BST.

The winner of that game will advance to Belgrade to play in the quarter-finals, with six places in Olympic qualifying available for the eight teams competing in the Serbian capital.


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