Great Britain’s hopes of qualification for EuroBasket Women 2021 remain in the balance following a 67-57 defeat to Belarus in Riga.
GB completed their group-stage campaign with a 2-2 record and must await results from the remaining group games later today (Thursday) and on Saturday to determine if they can qualify for the finals as one of five best second-placed teams.
Chema Buceta’s team battled during a scrappy contest but the game slipped away from them in the final period.
They started with strong line-up of Eilidh Simpson, Karlie Samuelson, Chantelle Handy, Kristine Anigwe and Temi Fagbenle and it was Fagbenle that made early inroads, scoring 10 of GB’s 12 points as Belarus edged the first quarter 14-12.
A Belarus two from Yuliya Rytsikava on the buzzer to make it 34-33 denied Great Britain a one point half-time lead after a pair of Karlie Samuelson threes had helped keep the game evenly balanced in the second period.
A scrappy third was tied 18-apiece before Belarus built an eight-point fourth-quarter lead that prompted a Chema Buceta timeout with 7.64 left on the clock. GB responded but Belarus eased away again to seal the win.
Fagbenle led the GB effort with 23 points and 13 rebounds, while Samuelson had 12. Rytsikava paced Belarus with 17.
Belarus play Poland in the final Group F game on Saturday.