Michaela Zrustova and the Czech Republic got off to the perfect start in the second round of competition
By Joe Hewison
Turning Point: Katerina Elhotova and Katerina Bartonova connected on back-to-back three-pointers to stretch the Czech Republic's lead from five to 11 with two minutes remaining in the third quarter, when Great Britain were in the ascendency.
Stats Don't Lie: Great Britain's slow rotations on defence gifted the Czech Republic open looks from three, and they hit nine of their 17 attempts compared to the Brits' 3-of-15.
Game Hero: Michaela Zrustova enjoyed an incredible shooting display, hitting four-of-six three-pointers on her way to 20 points, including a long-range buzzer beater at the end of the first half.
The Czech Republic were powered to a 66-55 win over Great Britain on the back of some precision three-point shooting in the EuroBasket Women Group F opener.
Great Britain forward Kim Butler paid tribute to the precision three-point shooting of Michaela Zrustova following the Czech Republic's 66-55 victory in the first game of EuroBasket Women's second round.
Zrustova had 20 points on four-of-six long-range shooting as the Czech Republic made a great start in Group F.
Tereza Pecková also hit her first three-pointers and had a big block, all in the first quarter, to prevent the Brits pulling away early on before Zrustrova beat the half-time buzzer with another three to stretch the Czech's lead to nine.
Great Britain made a run at the beginning of the second half sparked by Johannah Leedham's three-point play on completing a drive despite being fouled, before converting the extra shot from the free-throw line.
But Leedham's 20 points would not be enough as Katerina Elhotova and Katerina Bartonova connected from long-range late in the third quarter to give the Czech Republic a double-digit lead heading into the final stanza.
Butler contributed 12 points to Britain's cause as her minutes were extended due to an ankle injury to fellow forward Ella Clark.
Post-game Butler was full of praise for Zrustrova. She said: "Number five had a field day on us
"I don't know what her shooting percentage from beyond the arc was but that was tough.
"The first half didn't reflect what we were doing right, being down by nine points, that could easily have been two or three at the half.
"We started the second half down nine but we fought back hard."
Czech Republic Head Coach Lubor Blazek almost allowed the occasion to get to him late in the fourth quarter as he was called for a technical foul but he was smiling at the final buzzer.
"It was a very emotional game. I enjoyed it a lot and this victory was very crucial for our team."