Brave GB suffer overtime defeat
August 4, 2012 00:07 am
Great Britain women's basketball team suffered their most heart-wrenching Olympic defeat yet as they took France to overtime before losing 80-77, but their fate in the tournament had already been sealed before tip-off.
Celine Dumerc nailed a three-pointer with six seconds left in regulation to force the extra period and then hit another almost on the overtime buzzer to win it. France had overturned a four-point lead late in the extra period to snatch the win.
But Britain were playing in the knowledge that earlier, Canada's 79-73 victory over Brazil had closed the door on their quarter-final goal.
As the game moved into the final minute of regulation, Julie Page hit a three that gave Britain a 63-62 lead. Endene Miyem missed a two and Jo Leedham made her pay, grabbing her own rebound and making the shot for a 65-62 lead with 25 seconds left. Sandrine Gruda cut it to one and France were forced to foul to keep time on the clock.
Kim Butler went to the line with 11 seconds left and hit both her shots for a three-point lead, only for Celine Dumerc to race to the other end and tie it with a three-pointer six ticks from time.
Leedham had one final shot but came up short as the game went into overtime.
Gruda gave France the early lead in the extra period with two free throws, but Leedham replied with a three. She then hit two free throws to give Britain a 74-72 advantage and Natalie Stafford pushed the lead to four with two more.
Dumerc's lay-up halved the lead and Miyem made one of two free throws, and then after a British turnover, Edwige Lawson-Wade gave France a 77-76 lead inside the last 30 seconds. Stef Collins missed a three before Stafford tied it from the line.
But Dumerc then put a knife through British hearts with a long three to make it 80-77 inside the final second.
Leedham hit a game-high 29 points for Britain while Stafford added 18 and Butler 12.