Flying Start For GB

09.09.2006

The short-term aim for Great Britain's women is to win promotion to Division A of EuroBasket Women while in the long-term, they want to prove themselves worthy of taking up the place reserved for hosts at the 2012 Olympics in London.

With both endeavours in mind, Mark Clark's team got off to a flying start on Saturday with a 72-66 Division B victory at Estonia.

Stefanie Collins and Rosalee Mason each poured in 17 points to pace the British, who held off a late charge by their Baltic opponents.

After Anzela Okuneva's jump shot in the opening quarter gave Estonia their only lead in the game at 7-6, the visitors went on a 10-0 run.

Veteran Andrea Congreaves capped the spurt with a jumper early in the second quarter for a 16-7 advantage.

The Brits were unable to pull away, however.

Estonia clawed their way back to 25-23 by half-time, and then pulled level three times in the third quarter - the last at 31-31 after a pair of Okuneva free throws.

Collins replied with one of her four three-pointers to give Clark's team the lead for good at 34-31.

The advantage stretched to 45-36 with 3:36 remaining in the third after a three-ball from Sarah Naylor.

Estonia were resilient, with Kati Rausberg's lay-up closing the gap to 48-47.

A Kristy Lavin three and a Collins lay-up helped extend the British lead to 57-50 in the fourth quarter, but again the Estonians hit back and Aleksandra Skorohhodova's three trimmed the deficit to 57-55 with 6:06 remaining.

A Lavin three-pointer took the lead back to 60-55, however, and propelled Britain to the six-point victory.

Estonia out-rebounded Britain 48-41, but the visitors were more efficient from long range as they buried nine of 27 (33%).

Defensively, Britain got a lift from Lavin who had four steals to go along with her 13 points.


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