GB women lose to Estonia in second qualifier

November 14, 2021
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    Azania StewartAzania Stewart,a 2012 Olympian, recently returned to playing after retiring in 2019

    Great Britain's women lost their second EuroBasket qualifier, 72-69 against group bottom seeds Estonia in Tallinn.

    Azania Stewart top scored for GB with 17 points and Holly Winterburn, playing almost 35 minutes in only her second international, added 14.

    Again without starting forward Temi Fagbenle, GB struggled to keep Estonia at bay after a first-half injury forced Karlie Samuelson to leave the game.

    The defeat sharply reduced GB's chances of qualifying for the finals in 2023.

    Samuelson was injured in the early exchanges in a collision and retired to the bench after taking a heavy fall early in the second quarter.

    GB still led, 41-35, at half-time, with Stewart hitting 13 of her points and Handy adding nine.

    Estonia forced their way back into the game to level in the third quarter and then came up with a strong last 10 minutes to win in a tight finish.

    Estonia hit five three-pointers in the final quarter. GB's reply came from Winterburn, who hit seven points in the last four minutes as the team came back from seven points down to have a shot to win the game.

    But when they instead lost the ball, Estonia hit two more free throws and led by three points with 6.2 seconds remaining.

    GB's last chances fell to Chantelle Handy, whose three-point shot was partially blocked with 3.1 seconds on the clock, and Georgia Gayle, who missed from the resulting inbounds pass. Estonia held possession to win.

    GB now have a full year to wait and build before their next two qualifiers, away to Portugal and Greece. A defeat in either game would almost certainly eliminate them from qualifying for the 2023 EuroBasket finals.

    Group table

    P W L F A PTS PD
    Greece 2 2 0 137 123 4 +14
    Portugal 2 1 1 119 107 3 +12
    Estonia 2 1 1 115 131 3 -16
    Great Britain 2 0 2 135 145 2 -10


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