Slovenia Hold Off Israel


Slovenia staked a first claim on second place in Group B of EuroBasket Women qualifying on Saturday with a win against Israel in Kranjska Gora.

Turkey look to already have first place sewn up, but Slovenia moved into second position and a 2-2 record after their 77-67 defeat of Israel.

The winner of each of the five groups will advance to EuroBasket Women 2007 in Italy, along with four best second-placed teams.

Slovenia were able to keep their noses in front for most of the match, but Israel were never far behind.

The home side led by as many as 12 points in the third quarter, but Israel came back within five, 55-50 after 30 minutes.

Free throw shooting proved to be a key statistic for Slovenia in the final 10 minutes. They made 13/16 from the line in the fourth quarter, including 8/11 inside the final three minutes.

Israeli national teams are always known for their fighting spirit, and although they trailed by 10 points, 60-50, after just 50 seconds of the final quarter, the visitors did not capitulate.

Israel came back to as close as 5 points, 65-60, but Slovenia's free throws down the stretch sealed the win.

Mojca Markovic led Slovenia with 18 points. They will face Ukraine on Wednesday in a vital battle for second place in the group.

Israel take on Turkey.


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