Group B: Battle For Second

26.09.2007

By David Hein

Second place in Group B and a 1-1 record going into the qualifying round are up for grabs in Lanciano on Wednesday as Germany face off with Lithuania.

The 1997 title-holders Lithuania have struggled immensely and must find their game if they hope to right their ship, looking towards the next round.

Anne Breitreiner (Germany)
Breitreiner had a great opening game but struggled against Belgium.
The Germans meanwhile held their own against an excellent Belgium side and still had chances to win in the final moments despite falling behind early and chasing the Belgians.

Last Time Out: Lithuania knocked off Romania 67-50, and Germany were beaten 61-53 by Belgium.

Key Match-Up: Sandra Valuzyte vs. Anne Breitreiner: The German sharp-shooter had an off night shooting against Belgium (4-of-13 total) after being lights-out against Romania. The 23-year-old starlet will undoubtedly be extra motivated to rebound from that showing, and it will be Valuzyte's task to keep Breitreiner in check.

X-Factor: With Iveta Marcauskaite in foul trouble against Romania, Lithuanian center Egle Sulciute came off the bench to collect 11 points and 10 rebounds. And Sulciute will surely get her share of playing time given Germany's arsenal of talented low post players.

Stats: After making 13-of-25 from three-point range against Romania, Germany couldn't find enough space against Belgium, who held the German bombers to just 3-of-7 from behind the arc. Lithuania, meanwhile, must improve their ball-handling as they committed 21 turnovers against Romania after giving up 26 turnovers versus the Belgians.

Sounding Off: German coach Imre Szittya: "We want to beat Lithuania because we really want to get into the next round with the additional two points. I know Lithuania didn't play well against Belgium, but they are still a strong team and they can play. It will not be an easy game at all. There are never easy games at the European Championship."

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