17 May 13
Standard Life GB player, Pops Mensah-Bonsu's Italian side, EA7 Armani Milano, are tied 2-2 in the playoff games with Montepaschi Siena after a 69-75 defeat yesterday.
"Our goal was to make today our best game," commented head coach Tom Maher. "After playing two games in two days, if this isn't our best game then after the lessons that Angola and Australia taught us, we haven't moved forward.
"We had to play our best game and we did it."
There was little to differentiate the sides in the opening minutes as the teams traded baskets. Julie Page scored a couple of key baskets for GB, including one off a great pass from Kim Butler, as GB built themselves a 14-11 lead.
However, France responded with a 7-0 run over the final 90 seconds to take an 18-14 lead at the end of the first.
France extended their lead early in second to 24-14, but then Great Britain fought their way back into the game.
Natalie Stafford's drive to basket sparked a 16-6 run that ensured GB went into the break tied 30-30.
A tremendous third quarter saw the lead change hands a number of times as both teams fought to take control of the game.
Stef Collins hit a pair of free-throws to give GB a 39-38 lead, and although France responded with a 7-0 run, GB again fought back with Jenaya Wade-Fray exciting the Ponds Forge crowd as she nailed a three-pointer from mid-court to beat the buzzer.
GB entered the fourth quarter down 48-46, but they came out with tremendous energy and quickly got back in front.
Natalie Stafford had a quarter to remember as she scored 11 of her 18 points in the last ten minutes as GB began to pull away.
France made a late charge but GB held on for a deserved win.
Wade-Fray's long-range basket was the talking point of the game and she spoke afterwards about the effect it had.
"I think it gave us a lot of momentum going into the last quarter," she said. "That shot boosted our confidence a little bit and everybody got a bit excited about it; it's a great win for us."
Jo Leedham was awarded the Standard Life GB women's MVP.
For the full box score click here.
Australia won the Standard Life Game On 2012 tournament with three wins, while GB came second followed by France in third place and Angola fourth in the overall rankings.
Great Britain will be in action again on Wednesday evening when they play world number one ranked side, Team USA at the MEN Arena in Manchester, tip-off 7pm.