21 Aug 14
?Iceland turned out the lights on both the EuroBasket 2015 and Olympic aspirations of Great Britain's senior men, after taking a narrow 71-69 success in the 2nd Qualifying Round at the Copper Box Arena.
John Stewart was another notable standout for GB with 15 points, five rebounds and three assists while Nick Lewis also added nine points and eight rebounds.
"We all played together really well," Stewart said afterwards. "I think it's good to get going early and I did that today and there was fuel from the bench. Everyone was just cheering, you know everyone's here together."
GB head coach Doug Leichner praised his team's defensive showing: "In the beginning it was close, then we established our defence and got some of the looks that we were used to, rebounding, deflections, getting out and running. But to Holland's credit, they put up a fight and made us really play hard."
Great Britain started strongly at both ends; a block from Zac Wells, followed by a turnover in the first two Netherlands possessions, led to buckets from Rowell Graham and van Oostrum as GB enjoyed an early 5-0 start. The Dutch got into their rhythm after a couple of minutes but they couldn't match GB's intensity at both ends. Great Britain led 25-17 after the first ten minutes.
The Brits continued their strong defensive performance in the second, holding the Dutch to just two points in the first four minutes as GB stretched their advantage into double-digits with a lay-up in transition from Lewis Champion-Alleyene to give his side a 31-19 lead.
The Netherlands tried to claw their way back, but GB stood firm putting in the work in the first 20 minutes at both ends to lead 48-29 at the half by scoring the last six points.
A dunk to begin the third quarter from Raphell Thomas-Edwards gave GB a 50-29 lead and for much of the quarter they stayed in cruise control. The Netherlands kept the scoreboard ticking, but failed to capitalise on numerous GB misses and on the few turnovers that they committed.
Towards the quarter's end though, GB regrouped, a three from Lewis with seven seconds left gave GB a comfortable 72-43 cushion going into quarter number four.
Like the third quarter, Thomas-Edwards started the final ten minutes with a quick two-pointer to push GB's lead to 31 then he threw a highlight-reel alley-oop to Lewis who connected to further extend the advantage.
Holland looked out of ideas and looked fatigued as GB, who rested van Oostrum for the final five minutes of the game, eased to victory.
Maarten Bouwknecht led the Netherlands with 17 points.
For full box score click here.