OLYMPICS LONDON 2012: Struggling Britain fall to Canada
GREAT Britain women’s basketball team are still without a win at the London 2012 Olympic Games after a tense defeat to Canada.
DEJECTED: Jo Leedham can't power Team GB women's basketballers to a win over Canada
Tom Maher’s side led for most of the final quarter after pegging Canada back, who were in front for most of the match, but were unable to drive home their advantage and eventually lost 73-65.
Great Britain always tried to stay within three points of Canada, as they looked to bounce back from defeat to world number two Australia in their opening fixture.
Australian-based Jo Leedham was at the centre of everything, but her shooting needed to improve if Team GB were to close the gap.
With Great Britain scoring everything from the free throw line, they were unfortunate to trail into the interval 36-32, with Natalie Stafford their top scorer.
The hosts started the second half well and managed to claw back to within one point, but some quick breaks and good movement meant Canada were scoring consistently under the basket.
Great Britain struggled to cope with the size of Krista Phillips, but a much better performance, an increased shooting percentage and some great play from Leedham, saw them head into the fourth quarter just two points down.
With their noses in front, Great Britain worked hard to put Canada under pressure, and Julie Page stretched Team GB’s lead to four points midway through the final quarter.
In a tense finish, the sides were level as they headed into a timeout before a superb shot from outside the arc for Canada sent them ahead.
They then turned on the accelerator and three quick baskets, including one three pointer, left the hosts seven points behind.
Canada used their experience to see out the game, as Leedham desperately attempted to finish from the three-point line, before time ran out with Canada winning by eight points.
The manner of the defeat will be a cruel blow to Great Britain and they will need to pick themselves up before they face two-time Olympic bronze medallist Russia.