England Women, in their first competitive tournament since 2002, were victorious in the quest for a Bronze medal earlier today with a 75 - 78 victory over Nigeria.
England had a nervous start making only 6 from 19 field goal attempts. Andrea Congreaves and Captain Claire Maytham finished the quarter with 6 apiece to keep England close, however England finished the first quarter down by one, 17 – 16.
England went in to the second quarter determined not to be outdone and stepped up their defensive effort to keep Nigeria at bay. England’s shooting was still letting them down but Kristy Lavin posted 5 second quarter points to edge England into a half time lead, 30 – 36.
Shelly Boston, scoreless going into the third quarter stepped up her inside game with powerful plays and notched up 10 third quarter points but then picked up her forth foul.
England kept up their defensive pressure and ended the quarter with a 9 point lead.
In the forth quarter Nigeria staged a fight back and were only 2 points down with 1 minute 25 seconds to go. England fans were on the edge of their seat but England managed to hold on and come out winners 75 – 78.
Congreaves showed her experience in the fourth and finished with a game high 21 points.
Captain Claire Maytham, said, ‘After the disappointment of the defeat against New Zealand we regrouped and knew it was important to get a result in this game. We are all very emotional right now, but we are ecstatic to be coming home with a medal’
England’s Katie Crowley commented, ‘This is a fantastic result for the team and hopefully for women’s basketball in England.’
Nigeria 75 (16, 30, 46)
England 78 (17, 36, 55)
England top scorers:
Congreaves 21; Boston 14; Mason 12; Maytham 9; Lavin 5; Crowley/d’Hondt/Thackray 4; Kaznica 3; Sarjent 2