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GB beaten by Olympic champs

July 19, 2012 06:14 am

Great Britain showed plenty of heart but could not match the skill and speed of the United States as they lost their final pre-Olympic warm-up game 88-63 to the defending women's basketball champions in Manchester.

Azania Stewart gave Britain a 9-6 lead and then great hustle from the team gave Julie Page an easy basket to make it 13-8.

Page would make it 17-10 before back-to-back scores from Jo Leedham had Britain leading by double-digits 21-10.

United States coach Geno Auriemma then gathered his players for some choice words and whatever he said worked as they began what would be a game-changing 21-0 run, with Maya Moore making it 31-21 when she capitalised on a poor pass to make an easy lay-up.

Britain looked briefly overawed, poor shot selection letting them down, but Leedham finally ended a five-minute dry spell to make it 31-23.

The Americans continued to pull clear, with a 10-0 spurt making it 43-26 before Leedham again ended a British drought.

The second half began with Britain the aggressors once again and they quickly set about closing the gap.

Temi Fagbenle's first points of the game made it 51-40 before Leedham's assist set up Azania Stewart for the first of back-to-back baskets that made it 51-44.

Lindsay Whalen then went on a tear, and it was her lay-up that made it 64-47, another 10-0 run. When Whalen snatched the ball away from Page to run clear, her lay-up made it 72-51.

The Americans began to run away with it in the final quarter, with Candace Parker making it 80-53 with a lay-up. However, Leedham kept battling and the second of two quick three-pointers made it 84-61.

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