Temi Fagbenle Leads GB Women to First Win of Summer - Hoopsfix.com

Temi Fagbenle Leads GB Women to First Win of Summer

A stunning effort from Temi Fagbenle took Great Britain Senior Women to their first victory of this year’s international season.

The frontcourt star lit it up in a 60-51 friendly success against Slovak Republic and was on fire from tip until buzzer in a brilliant display at the Lyon Tournament.

She corralled a game-high 28 points as Great Britain bounced back from their defeat to France less than 24 hours earlier.

Starting with the same five players who stepped out against Les Bleues, but without the services of Nicole How who spent last night in hospital after taking a heavy blow to the face, GB wasted little time in asserting themselves.

Fagbenle poured in eight quick-fire points as GB raced into a commanding 12-6 advantage and it was complimented by terrific team defence and plenty of endeavour to keep the Slovak Republic offence at bay.

Leading 18-9 after at the end of the opening period, a three-pointer by Stef Collins pushed the lead out to as many as 13 points.

However, Slovakia responded with a 10-0 run to make it a one-shot game at 27-24, but GB finished the half with a flourish as a three-pointer by Rachael Vanderwal put her team 36-29 ahead at the break.

With Fagbenle moving to 20 points early in the third quarter, GB were still awaiting their first scoring contribution off the bench and it duly arrived via Erin McGarrachan.

That helped GB head into the last ten minutes of action still in the ascendency at 48-42 and while their opponents continued to threaten to overhaul them, some excellent work by the entire team on the glass helped to stave off a late comeback.

Fagbenle was just one rebound short of an outstanding double-double, with Dominique Allen adding six boards and Vanderwal contributing an all-action 10 points, seven rebounds and five assists.

“We had a lot of positives and made the necessary adjustments after the French game,” said Vanderwal.

“We know France are top class team and one of the best in world, so it was always going to be a massive challenge.

“It is important we learn from our mistakes and we want to peak at the right time – namely at EuroBasket Women Final Round.

“Temi is a huge player for us and we look to get her the ball as much as we can.

“But we have to be careful we are not relying on her too much as we know a lot of teams will focus on stopping her.”

Head coach Peter Buckle was also content with his team’s efforts and admitted it was nice to get a first win under the belt at the second attempt.

He said, “It was a good night for us and we learned some lessons from last night against France – we certainly improved in a lot of areas.

“Our possession game was very good and we generally rebounded very well.

“Defensively we were able to exert more pressure and forced them into some really tough contested shots.

“In summary, I thought we did a good job in key areas and now we continue to enjoy valuable game practice with our last match-up of this particular tournament against Serbia.”

GB play their third and final game against EuroBasket Women 2015 Group C rivals Serbia tomorrow at 15.00 (UK time).

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