One of the key factors of the first half was the superior height of the German team, with Great Britain starting off struggling to both move the ball inside Germany’s three point line and defend their own net against Germany’s high, looping passes. But through Helen Freeman leading the way, with the guard finding space for multiple assists and two point scores, Great Britain were able to carve out a 16-12 lead at the end of the first quarter.
Germany advanced in the second half with a strong counter-attack. Guard Annika Zeyen worked well with points leaders Marina Mohnen and Gesche Schunemann to keep Germany within close distance on the scoreboard. With a halftime score of 32-28 to Great Britain, the tactical battle looked set to resume after the break.
And it was Germany who took momentum in the third quarter, denying Great Britain the opportunity to extend their lead and outscoring the halftime leaders with eight points to GBs two. From trailing by four points at halftime, an eight point swing for Germany gave them the lead back by the beginning of the final quarter with a score of 44-40.
Not to be deterred, Great Britain came back pressing the German team in defence and earning free throws thanks to more pressure applied in attack. With the clock ticking closer towards the end of the game, Helen Freeman, Joy Lan Haizelden and Judith Hamer all contributed points as Great Britain managed to regain the lead with three minutes to go.
But Germany came right back with successive two point scores to regain the lead, setting up a frantic final few minutes. The two teams exchanged two point scores and timeouts and with 50 seconds left, Helen Freeman reduced the gap down to a single point.
Great Britain continued to press for a game winning score, but a foul inside the Germany key with just fifteen seconds to go conceded posession. Hearts then jumped into mouths across the Worcester Arena one final time as Great Britain gained a steal following the restart. The final shot in the last two seconds of the game from Joy Lan Haizelden fell just short, ensuring victory and a place in the gold medal match for Germany.
MVP: Marina Mohnen, GER