BASKETBALL: Stafford shines as GB women shock the French

GB ladies during the national anthem before the game vs Australia
GB ladies during the national anthem before the game vs Australia
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Great Britain 74 France 67 (Sunday at Ponds Forge)

Great Britain 63 Australia 87 (Saturday at Motorpoint Arena)

GREAT Britain women’s team continued to show they could be an outside bet for a medal at the Olympic Games after an excellent victory over France yesterday at Ponds Forge.

After a recent win over World No 4 Czech Republic, GB, who have Hatters boss Vanessa Ellis as one of their assistant coaches, stunned World No 8 France by holding off the visitors late charge to end the three-match tournament with two wins and one defeat.

“Our goal was to make today our best game,” said head coach Tom Maher. “After playing two games in two days, if this isn’t our best game then after the lessons that Angola and Australia taught us, we haven’t moved forward. We had to play our best game and we did it.”

Trailing by two (46-48) entering the final quarter, Natalie Stafford scored 11 of her 18 points to pull Great Britain away.

On Saturday World No 2 Australia were too strong for GB at the Arena. Trailing by seven at half time Maher’s team were over-powered by the size of the Australian forward Elizabeth Cambage in the second half.