EuroBasket: Great Britain's women dominate Macedonia in qualifier

By Rob DugdaleBBC Sport in Worcester
Lauren Thomas-Johnson
Great Britain's Lauren Thomas-Johnson scored 15 points against Macedonia

Great Britain's women remain on track for a place in next year's EuroBasket finals after beating Macedonia 71-60 in their penultimate qualifier.

Rachael Vanderwal, Lauren Thomas-Johnson and Dominique Allen each scored 15 points to lead GB's scoring.

Britain took control of the game at Worcester in the second quarter and never looked in danger from that point.

Wednesday's final game against Lithuania will now decide if GB qualify for their third successive finals.

Only results among the top three teams are taken into account in deciding qualification for next year's finals in Hungary and Romania.

Perhaps aware that this result was unlikely to be counted, GB took time to dominate bottom-of-the-table Macedonia, who had previously averaged a 34-point defeat.

Tied 18-18 at the end of the first quarter, the hosts hit a 13-7 run at the start of the second with the aid of six points from Allen and five from Vanderwal.

Nine points in a row from Thomas-Johnson then brought GB their first 10-point lead shortly before half-time.

Allen and Thomas-Johnson then featured again in the third quarter as GB extended the lead to 16 points with Macedonia struggling to stay in touch.

"I think we knew that we had to just get a win, get it done and there's a bigger game coming," said GB head coach peter Buckle after the game. "So we'll take the win over Macedonia - there's a lot of things we want to work on from that - and then we'll move on to Lithuania."

GB lost by 20 points in Lithuania earlier in the group stages and only beat third-placed Belgium by 11 points over their two games, but will be buoyed by the fact that Belgium registered a shock 91-81 win in Lithuania.

The result means GB can qualify as group winners if they beat Lithuania on Wednesday.