In contrast to the previous game, this Semi-Final was won almost entirely on defence and both teams had great trouble putting the ball in the net. Neither team was able to put away the easy basket and points were missed on the fastbreak as well as in the paint. France shot a miserable 37% from 2-point land and only redeemed themselves by shooting 4/8 from outside the 3-point line. Hungary hit only 34% in twos and didn’t make one single 3-pointer in 7 attempts.
The French hadn’t been bothered like this since their Preliminary Round game against Russia and didn’t seem able to cope. In all other games Coach Denis was able to run the bench from early on, but this evening he only made one sub in the first 10 minutes. Tonight his starters stayed on court.
The second quarter continued exactly as the first – France scored their first basket on a Elodie Godin move inside after 4 minutes of complete drought. Godin (10 points) had a better game, blocking up the key and taking important defensive rebounds.However, with Vajda still sitting out it was up to guard Zsofia Fegyverneky (16 points and 5 rebounds) to take responsibility for the Hungarian side. She controlled the tempo for her side but sadly neither she nor her teammates could improve their shooting. The half ended 22-30 with Fegyverneky missing another 3 right on the buzzer.
Defence was still priority on the second half – both teams had to rely on something to try to win as high scoring wasn’t an option! France had real trouble against the Hungarian zone. Nevertheless Amélie Pochet (13 points) had strong moments for the French, taking steals and playing well at both ends. She finished with 13 points for the home side.
|France celebrate their qualification to the Final|