The British seniors suffered a heavy defeat against France as they bowed out 79-56 in Pau on Friday night.
Marc Steutel’s side conceded the first 15 points of the game and never recovered, falling to 1-2 in the 2022 FIBA EuroBasket Qualifiers.
France finished third in the 2019 World Cup, and even with just three players from the bronze medal-winning squad, their strength at depth proved too heavy for GB.
Steutel said: “I was really disappointed with our start, our lack of execution and felt we were on the wrong side of the physical aspect and the pace of the game.
“We gave them a bit of a break and against a team as established as France, it’s difficult.
“What I’m going to say is our guys regrouped at halftime and defensively we were better and executed and got a few saves and we were better in the second half.
Dan Clark added, “We have to build on some positive points of the game because we have another game on Sunday and we want to come back strong because it’s a game we have to win.”
Ashley Hamilton led GB with 12 points, while Dan Clark and Gabe Olaseni joined him in double digits with 11 each.
The score of the box.
GB had several attempts to open his account on the first possession and would be a sign of frustration to come as their opponents rushed forward. France would take advantage of a 15-0 start – helped by communication issues at both ends for GB – during the first five minutes to assert their authority.
Olaseni finally broke GB’s duck halfway through, cleaning up another failure shortly before falling 20 points behind. Co-captain Dan Clark connected from the three-point range, but his team would follow 5-24 after a 10-minute opener to forget.
Nelson scored his first points of the game from downtown early in the second, although France maintained their control. The gap was extended to 26 points at halftime, with the GB facing a 20-46 deficit, while forgoing 15 turnovers against a strong defensive effort.
GB had a mountain to climb and showed signs of renewed life with an 8-0 start when play resumed, including four points for Olaseni.
The momentum slowed as GB ended up passing the third period 17-16 as they were unable to make further forays into the French lead, which became 37-62 heading into the final period.
GB took comfort in also winning the fourth quarter, 19-17, but the result was already sealed.
GB are now heading to Sunday’s meeting with Montenegro after losing the previous meeting by seven points in February.
– Partants: Okereafor, Nelson, Hesson, Yeboah & Olaseni
– Rex Pflueger made his GB Senior debut
– Conner Washington was a DNP
– Cameron Hildreth and Kareem Queeley missed the 14-man travel squad
– Germany face Montenegro in the other group game