Macedonia 62-89 Great Britain: GB boost Eurobasket finals hopes
Great Britain beat Macedonia 89-62 in Kavadarci to boost their chance of qualifying for the Eurobasket finals.
Dan Clark led the team effort with 21 points and Andrew Lawrence, again a contributor off the bench, added 14.
GB produced easily their best defensive performance of their campaign so far, stifling the home team.
The team's final match is in Luxembourg on Saturday, when results in other groups will decide if they have done enough to make next year's final 24.
GB are now assured of second place in their group and the size of their win will give them optimism ahead of the weekend's final round of games.
GB's defence was relentless in the first half and the team launched runs of 15-4 and 17-8 from Macedonia's mistakes as the home fans grew restless with their team, who trailed 44-30 at half-time.
The lead grew to 16 points in the third quarter before a flurry of three-pointers brought Macedonia back into the running.
Clark splashed another three on the buzzer for a 67-53 GB lead with 10 minutes remaining.
Joe Prunty's men then held Macedonia scoreless for the first three and a half minutes of the fourth quarter, establishing a 20-point lead in process, and were never in danger of being caught.
"It's a testament to the character of our team," said Prunty. "How hard we've battled. I thought we got great effort from a lot of players and particularly on the defensive end.
"We've talked about being a defensive team first and then trying to push the ball and play with pace on the offensive end."
Prunty was impressed with Clark, who was in the GB team beaten in Skopje in 2010.
Clark said: "That's one of those games that will always be in the memory when we come here, so we can be proud of what we did, playing in front of a hostile environment and keeping [the crowd] quiet.
"We have young guards on the team and they showed their growth this summer in being able to read the game and handle the team."
|Eurobasket Group G|