Turkey 84-67 GB: Steutel’s men denied in Istanbul
Great Britain could not repeat their opening-night heroics in Istanbul on Sunday evening, falling 84-67 to a Shane Larkin-inspired Turkey.
After the high of beating Greece in Newcastle on Thursday night, head coach Marc Steutel’s men, who led by as many as 13, put in a brave performance in the Turkish capital in their second FIBA World Cup 2023 Qualifier.
But they were denied a second win as the home team used a strong second half to claim to points at the Sinan Erdem Arena.
US-born Larkin had a game-high 22 points and eight assists but GB gave a good account of themselves against a team ranked 16 in the world with Dan Clark leading the British effort with 17 points and Gabe Olaseni hitting 15 and taking nine boards and Tarik Philip scoring 14 with seven assists.
It leaves each team in the group on a win apiece as Greece beat Belarus.
GB started the game with understandable confidence following their endeavours in Newcastle.
Composed offence and energetic defence saw them match their hosts early on before racing into a 23-16 first-quarter lead via a Clark triple and breakaway dunks from Olaseni and Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye.
The Turks hit back with a quick start to the second, taking the lead at 25-23 before the Brits regained it with Olaseni – already with 11 points on the board – and Carl Wheatle making their presence felt as the teams went into the locker rooms level at 37 apiece.
Turkey edged into a nine-point lead midway through the third, nudging their advantage out to 14 minutes later as the home side, with Larkin influencing the game, going into the fourth 60-54 ahead.
Lautier-Ogunleye kept his nerve to hit two from the line after Larkin basket was struck off to cut Turkey’s lead to 64-56 but the home team’s guard stretched it back out to 75-60 with a layup with 4.26 to play and the home side eased further into the lead to take the win.