Great Britain saw their Olympic dreams of advancing to the quarter finals come to an end on Saturday night after a monumental second half collapse to Australia, losing 106-75.
GB were outscored 70-29 in the second half, looking like an entirely different team to the first half, where they played some of their best basketball of the tournament. It’s a familiar story for GB, who at times look like they can compete with the world’s best, but at others look like a team who have no right to be competing on the world stage.
“It (the quarter-finals) was certainly a place we thought we could get to but we didn’t play 40 quality minutes today,” Head Coach Chris Finch said after the game. “We were hurt by some ‘old demons’ today, if you will, an inability to handle pressure and cheap threes. That really turned the game around for them.”
Reflecting on some of Australia’s dominant scoring runs, including an 18-0 burst to put the game away, Finch added:
“We just needed a couple of buckets, to finish couple of lay-ups. And add another missed goal-tending call in there, and at that point you just need anything to break up the run and we couldn’t do that. We couldn’t get to the free throw line, couldn’t get a lay-up, had a couple of lay-up chances that we missed. They got in one of those zones where everything seemed to go in.”
Australia finished shooting 57% from the field, including 13/24 from three point range, most of which came in the second half. Patty Mills was a man on a mission for the Australian side, finishing with 39 points, on 14/22 shooting (5/7 from deep), to tally the top individual scoring performance of the Olympics so far.
Joel Freeland led GB with 16 points, whilst Dan Clark added 14.
GB will look to finish their tournament with a win on Monday as they take on China, who are also looking to pick up their first win.
France beat Tunisia 73-69.
France booked their place in the quarter finals with a victory over Tunisia. Tony Parker had 22 points on 9/13 shooting, whilst Nicolas Batum added 19 on 6/9 from the field. Mohamed Hadidane had 20 points in 14 minutes for Tunisia.
Russia shocked Spain 77-74.
USA beat Lithuania 99-94.
Brazil beat China 98-59
Argentina beat Nigeria 93-79
- Assistant coach Nick Nurse seemed to let slip (before back pedaling) that this will be his last campaign with the GB team. The beginning of the mass exodus of staff post-Olympics?
- Devastating end to the Olympic dream. Gutted for the team, gutted for British basketball. Showed so much promise at times, but it means nothing without the wins.
- In the post-game press conference Chris Finch spoke about the importance of developing guards for GB to succeed in the future.
- Finch also said he had no regrets about taking the risk on bringing the injured Mike Lenzly to the games.
What did you think of the games? Thoughts on the tourney so far?
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