Katsiaryna Snytsina and Belarus were timely in snapping a two-game winning streak on Friday, confirming their place in the quarter-finals
By Joe Hewison
Turning Point: With four minutes remaining, Natallia Anufryienka beat the shot clock buzzer on a broken play before Anastasiya Verameyenka and Aliaksandra Tarasava hit back-to-back threes to give Belarus a nine-point lead.
Stats Don't Lie: Statistically, the teams were close across the board but Belarus stepped it up in the last quarter and outscored Great Britain 28-15 in fourth quarter.
Game Hero: Katsiaryna Snytsina scored 15 points including a hat-trick of three-pointers to power Belarus to victory.
Belarus made it to the final eight of EuroBasket Women with a 71-61 win over Great Britain - but they did it the hard way, according to Yelena Leuchanka.
Both teams went into this game having lost their previous two and the nerves were evident as both shot a paltry 28.6% from the field to end the first quarter tied at 15.
Things improved in the second period and Belarus took a 34-28 lead into half-time before Great Britain once again snatched the initiative in the third to go up 46-43.
The game swung back Belarus' way as they came out firing in the final quarter and hit two three-pointers in quick succession to build a nine-point lead that they wouldn't give up.
For Leuchanka, it was an important win given that it followed two straight defeats.
She said: "It was a tough game coming back from a tough loss. It was a big one for us to help us qualify.
"We made some big shots today when we needed them. In the first half we were a little nervous but in the second half we were a lot stronger, made some adjustments on defence and made some big shots.
"Mentally it is always hard [to come back from defeats] and at this point we can't make any mistakes because every mistake you make, you pay for.
"I was saying to the girls that over the years nothing has been easy for us. The group we were in, the teams we have played, everything has been pretty tough so I was proud of them today and the way we played."
Great Britain must now hope other results go their way, and they can beat Croatia if they are to have any chance of progressing.
British guard Johannah Leedham said: "We are a blue collar team.
"We make it hard for people, we make it tough for people, we shove people around and we win those possessions. When we are not doing that we are struggling. I think it was a poor performance."