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Despite a thrilling comeback, Great Britain ultimately came up short, losing 75-70 to Croatia on Wednesday night.
Being down as many as 18 and going for one stretch of 10 minutes without a field goal, things were not looking good for GB, but a monumental fourth quarter comeback saw the deficit reduced to three with 35 seconds remaining. However, GB were unable to get over the hump and fell to their second loss in as many games.
Joel Freeland was impressive for GB, finishing with 22 points and 9 rebounds, whilst Andrew Lawrence and Dan Clark joined him in double figures with 10 each. Croatia were led by 16 points from Krunoslav Simon, with Ante Tomic adding 10. Full box score can be found here.
Freeland remained positive after the game, feeling the team is getting better by the day:
“I think we came out hot in the first quarter, second and third weren’t too good but we definitely showed we can compete in the fourth.
“We brought it back in the final period, and it’s not easy to do that against world class teams. It was definitely better than yesterday. We’re learning all the time, we’ve only been together for two weeks and we have another two weeks to get better. We’re learning, and that’s what we’re here to do.”
Freeland continued where he left off the previous night with a strong move to the basket and with Dan Clark scoring an and-one, GB rushed into a 7-0 lead.
As the fouls mounted up for the Croats, they called a timeout with 5:56 on the clock and GB 13-3 ahead, with Freeland taking his tally to five at the foul line immediately afterwards.
Krunoslav Simon gave Croatia their first lead of the game at 22-21 with just over five minutes remaining in the half. That run grew to 18-4 before Freeland kept GB in touch with a single free-throw, but the Croats continued to pile on the pressure and led 35-23 going into the locker room at half-time.
Marko Tomas extended the deficit to 15, but Lenzly made it an 11 point game with a three-pointer before Andrew Lawrence showed the potential which has seen him break into the squad with a drive to the basket and then two free-throws to make it a single digit contest.
Two Robert Archibald baskets kept GB in touch, but they struggled to cope with the Croatian three-point threat, and they reached the final break with a 63-47 lead.
Freeland and Clark made it a 12 point game with the opening baskets of the final period, and Freeland brought GB back within 10 points at 69-59 with five minutes remaining.
Lawrence drained a three to light up the crowd before stealing the ball and being sent to the foul line where he hit both to make it a five point game with 4:17 on the clock.
Ogo Adegboye hit a mid-ranger jump shot to make it 69-66 with 3:06 on the clock to force a Croatian timeout, but Tomic broke the run with a floater. Lawrenc got a three up that bounced off the rim and that was as good as it got for Britain as Croatia sealed the win.
GB will now take on Serbia on Thursday night at 8.30pm.
Serbia 87-53 China
Serbia led by 19 points from Teodosic, Krstic adds 13, with Tepic and Mavan adding 11 each. Yi has 20 for China, with both Zhangs adding 8 each. Full box score can be found here.
France 71-67 Australia
Tony Parker lead France with 27 as well as some clutch shooting, Batum, 16, Diaw 10. Mills has 20 for Australia, Newley 11. Full box score can be found here.
Read a recap of Day 1 here.
Image Credit: Mansoor Ahmed Photography
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