A fantastic performance by Germany saw the team overcome a gritty performance by the GB Women to take a 53-39 win.
The on-court presence of Germany and Great Britain was welcomed by a full house with GB going on to win the tip off. Germany, however, were the first to score – building to a four point lead before GB hit back with two of their own before going on to add two more to equalise. A calm response gave Germany a further opportunity to build their scoreline and, four minutes in, the atmosphere was supercharged as Germany led by 6-4; the on-looking crowd treated to swift manoeuvres by players from both sides.
Germany continued to steadily advance their points; notable precision at the basket from Marina Mohnen (10-4). GB's Helen Freeman, however, retaliated: bringing the GB Women’s Team up to six points. However, with GB’s shots not falling, Germany were able to close out the opening 10 minutes of play by 15-6.
The second quarter saw more dynamic plays by both teams. Freeman lifted the audible team spirit of Great Britain with a beautiful long shot, bringing the team’s tally to 8-15 before Amy Conroy moved the team into double figures (10-15) with just over two minutes played. Germany, however, responded in the end to end battle which saw each side crafting their offensive plays and defending with tenacity.
Indeed, Mohnen shone at both ends of the court for Germany as the home team played their way to a lead of 23-12 – Gesche Schunemann with the final points of the quarter to see Germany enter half time ahead by 27-14.
On the team’s return to court, it was Great Britain’s Jude Hamer who got the scoring underway (16-27), but yet again Germany took the initiative, creating opportunities for yet more points on the board and, two minutes after half time, the Germany score climbed into the thirties.
Brave breaks by the GB Women were met by fierce resistance from Germany – keen to maintain their hard-earned advantage; but four free throws from Freeman in the third quarter’s final few minutes ate into Germany's lead – the Germans nevertheless ahead by 35-28 with 10 minutes remaining in the game.
The last ten minutes in the final quarter were as compelling as the preceding thirty minutes of play. The GB defence remained strong, but their chances in the key continued to be halted by a fantastic German response; both teams commanding great support from the crowd. With just five minutes remaining in the game, Germany had built to a 45-30 advantage, but the GB Women continued their creative and resilient play – hitting back to within 11 points (39-50) with just over 90 seconds left on the clock.
The final points of the game, however, went to Germany as Schunemann sunk a three point buzzer beater to secure the German Women’s Team a 53-39 victory.
1. M. Mohnen (25); 2. G. Schunemann (14)*; 3. J. Welin (6)
*double double, points and rebounds
1. H. Freeman (20); 2. A. Conroy (6); 3. J. Hamer (5)
MVP, presented by E.ON: Marina Mohnen (Germany)