basketball

GB Under-18s Dominate Second Half to Secure First Win

Great Britain Under-18s picked up their first win at the European Championships with a dominant second half display helping them beat Albania 67-50 in Skopje, on Tuesday.

Having lost their opening three games, Len Busch’s side responded with a victory despite having to overcome a five-point deficit at the half.

Esther Little starred with a big double-double of 14 points – on 7 of 9 shooting – along with 16 rebounds as well as six steals.

Jade Mbam top scored with a 15-point haul with Alex Baker posting 12 points, seven rebounds and three blocks in the win.

Box score.

GB raced out of the blocks with a 9-0 start as Mbam opened the scoring from 3-point range before Little scored off two powerful drives. However, Albania responded out of their timeout with an 11-2 run to close the gap and took their first lead at 16-17 approaching the mid-point in the second.

Olivia Partridge ended GB’s wait for a field goal to take back the lead with Baker following suit to make it 20-17. Another run from Albania followed with GB’s offensive struggles continuing as they found themselves trailing 22-27 at the break.

A determined start to the second half proved pivotal with GB forcing multiple turnovers and making life very difficult for Albania to make it out of the half-court. Mbam scored six points as part of a 15-3 start to the second half and a further three from Asha Andrews helped establish a 43-32 advantage ahead of the final period.

Little continued to control the battle of the boards at both ends as the GB lead grew with Mbam firing in another two triples to wrap up a convincing victory.

GB close out their group phase against Luxembourg on Wednesday night at 8pm UK time.

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