They needed Overtime to do it, but Great Britain Under-20s moved to 3-0 in their official preparation games for the European Championships as they beat Finland 96-92 Tuesday night.
In Game 1 of their two game series in Helsinki, Coach Doug Leichner’s side battled back from an early deficit and appeared to be in control in the final minutes, but a late surge from Finland capped by a lay-up from Julius Rajala with 1 second remaining sent the game to overtime.
In the extra period, Devon van Oostrum stepped up, scoring 10 points to take his total tally to 27 for the game as GB pulled out the four point victory.
“We started off strong and Finland played with composure to cut our lead to 4 at the half. We stressed guarding the arc but Finland shot a blistering 53% from 3 point land,” said Leichner after the game. “I was pleased with our rebounding margin of plus 12 as we were active on the boards.
“Finland’s philosophy for years has been to play multiple players on Devon and “Hack a Devon” as he was fouled 13 times. We have multiple sets that can be played without a point guard so it didn’t affect us at all. I was pleased with Rowell Graham’s performance as he had an amazing 27 efficiency. It was great preparation game and we get to do it all over again tomorrow!”
“Very good win in OT against Finland tonight,” tweeted Assistant Coach James Vear after the game. “We learnt some valuable lessons and its always best to do that during a win.”
Rowell Graham had a 19 point, 12 rebound (8 offensive) double double on 7/12 shooting, Nick Lewis added 17 points, whilst Matthew Don had 11 rebounds and some crucial plays in 23 minutes.
Joonas Caven led Finland, who will be looking for revenge in the re-match on Wednesday night, with 30 points.
Image Credit: GB Basketball