Great Britain looked poise to escape with a stunning win that will mark their first-ever win in women’s Olympic basketball history, but France broke their hearts including the hometown crowd inside the Olympic Basketball Arena.
After a see-saw battle from the first period up to the final period, Great Britain had the win in their bag with them leading by three-points with 10 seconds left in the game, but French guard Celine Dumerc hit a three-point dagger to force an extra period.
In the extra period, Great Britain led 76-72, but France answered with a 5-0 run to take a one-point lead with 31 seconds to go in the game.
Great Britain forward Julie Page was fouled in the ensuing play and had chance to give her team the lead, but she missed her second free throw that led to another highlight for France.
Elodie Godin grabbed the rebound off Page’s missed free throw that led to another dagger three-pointer from Dumerc with 0.2 seconds left in the game that gave France the dramatic win over the host.
“It’s heartbreaking for us,” said Great Britain guard Jo Leedham, who led the squad with 29 points and eight rebounds to go with four steals.
Edwidge Lawson-Wade and Sandrine Gruda led the French squad with 16 points apiece, while Isabelle Yacoubou and Celine Dumerc added 15 and 14 points, respectively, helping France improve to 4-0 to stay on top of Group B.
Great Britain, on the other hand, remained winless in four games, but despite their 0-4 record, Page expressed how proud she is with the way they are competing and threatening teams that are ranked higher than them.
“Basketball-wise we are still a young team, we have been working hard and I feel that if we continue to do so in future years we will become a very competitive team,” Page said after the game. “We are already competing with the world’s best teams so we are doing great. I’m so proud of the girls, I couldn’t ask for more.”
France will next face Russia in a crucial game on Sunday, while Great Britain will have another chance to get the elusive first win as they go up against Brazil in their game of this year’s Olympic Games.
2012 London Olympics Women’s Basketball
France vs Great Britain Box Score
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