07 Jul 15
Great Britain are yet to find a first taste of success at the U20 European Championship Women Division B after losing 61-56 to Sweden in an exciting match-up in Podgorica.
GB's Billie Lucas led her side with 13 points and six rebounds whilst Melita Emanuel-Carr added 10 points and captain Rosie Hynes had nine points.
Head coach, Matt Johnson was pleased with the contribution from the entire team: "We had really positive contributions from all 12 players which is important to our group. We congratulate Macedonia on their win today but we cannot help feeling that we beat ourselves after so many promising statistics.
"We had 81 shots from the field, over 40 shot attempts for our inside players, and 25 free throws which is our highest in any game so far. We managed to attempt over 100 possessions and were in a great position to win. However 26% from the floor and 52% from the line are the stats we are held accountable by, but we are looking forward to playing again tomorrow."
Shequila Joseph opened up the scoring for GB but Macedonia replied quickly and hit three three point shots in the first quarter to take an early lead 15-13.
Some disruptive on the ball pressure from GB in the second quarter forced Macedonia into 17 first half turnovers. Late in the half GB struggled to convert at the other end and as a result Macedonia went into the locker room with a four point lead, 29-25.
GB came out fighting in the third and tied the game on the back of two free throws from Leah McDerment and baskets from Harriet Ottewill-Soulsby. GB ended the third period with an 8-0 run which saw them lead by five, 41-46 as they head into the final period.
The GB under-20 women held their lead until Pejkovska made a layup to bring the game back level with 4.28 minutes left to play. The teams then traded baskets, however Pejkovska once again came up with a big play to take Macedonia up by one point with 26 seconds left to play. Pejkovska missed her free throw but her team regained possession after a deflection out of bounds.
The next possession then resulted in Hynes fouling out to stop the clock, sending Stojanovska to the line for two. Converting one from two throws, Macedonia took a two point lead and it looked as though the game was over for GB.
But, GB refused to give up and following an attempt from Megan Lewis, Lucas came up with an offensive rebound to tie the game with less than 7 seconds remaining. Following a Macedonia time out Pejkovska found the ball and hit a three which landed on the buzzer to seal the victory.
The Standard Life GB under-20 women play Bulgaria tonight tipping off at 16:15 (BST).
For full game report please click here.