GB Women stun Czechs in Prague
The Standard Life GB Women have claimed the biggest scalp so far of their pre-Olympic schedule with an emphatic 81-57
win over the Czech Repbulic in Prague on Wednesday evening.
The Czechs, currently ranked fourth in the world, proved no match for a Great Britain side who were in front the entire game a day after GB were beaten 67-56 by the same opponents.
GB jumped out to a 42-27 lead at the half, then the Czechs tried to mount their comeback in the third and cut the lead to just six points (52-46), but Jenaya Wade-Fray settled any nerves with a clutch three-pointer and the home side never threatened again.
"The Czechs started out lacking energy and we jumped on them and never let them back in the game," said a delighted coach Tom Maher. "In the past I'm sure we would have, but we've grown a lot and I couldn't be happier."
"It was an unbelievable win; it was like a dream and we played super. "Our efforts were fantastic, some of the rebounding was really special and we played really good basketball."
Despite playing their fifth game in six days, GB looked the stronger side throughout as they out-rebounded a much bigger Czech side 31-22, while shooting an impressive 54% from the field.
Jo Leedham again top-scored for GB with 19 points, but there were also strong all-round performances from Julie Page (13 points), Temi Fagbenle (12 and 7 rebounds) and Natalie Stafford (11).
Leedham marked her 50th cap with an incredible 12 steals (of the team's 17), but put down her success to a great team effort during the game, especially at the defensive end.
"That was absolutely amazing," enthused Leedham. "It's the first time I've felt we've all clicked and been on the same page, and really held together for the full forty minutes.
"The defence was unbelievable and I'm astounded at just how unbelievable it was." The girls were amazing tonight and to come here and get a win over the fourth-ranked Czech Republic is absolutely unbelievable."
GB now return to the UK to continue their pre-Olympic preparation which will see them face Angola, Australia and France in Sheffield before clashing with the USA in Manchester.