By David Hein
Germany drained 13-of-25 three-pointers in opening their 2007 EuroBasket Women Group B campaign with a critical 85-78 victory over Romania.
Anne Breitreiner scored 14 of her 19 points in the third quarter while Alexandra Müller scored 22 points with five three-pointers and Linda Fröhlich added 20 points.
Romania lost despite 26 points from Maria Pascalau and 13 each from Annemarie Parau and
|Linda Fröhlich dropped in 20 points for Germany.|
"They played a lot of zone defense on us - a 2-3 and even some box-and-one. And we have a young team. So it's hard sometimes to play against a team that changes a lot. But we basically won with the three-points shots," said German coach Imre Szittya.
"It's always nice to see the whole team step up. Everybody played at the top of their game today. And having them outside hitting those shots definitely makes it easier for you. It was really exceptional," added Fröhlich.
Germany used the three-ball to grab the lead early as bombs by Dorothea Richter, Müller, Breitreiner and Fröhlich helped build a 20-9 advantage.
The Germans pushed the lead to 12 points - 23-11 - but Parau and Paula Ciocan answered with three-pointers of their own to close the deficit to 25-19 after the first period.
Romania took advantage of some German struggles and Palau's jumper made it 31-30 halfway through the second period.
But Müller came up big with back-to-back treys and a long jumper to re-establish a 40-32 German lead before going into the break ahead just 42-40.
Marc Silvert's team scored the first six points of the second half for a 46-42 lead only to see the German long range bombers attack again - Breitreiner and Müller going back-to-back and then the Lotos Gdynia starlet Breitreiner drained two more bombs for a 62-54 cushion, which would eventually grow to 68-59 going into the fourth.
A Palau basket brought Romania to within 68-65 but Sarah Austmann hit a three-pointer - her only basket of the game - to give Germany back some momentum.
Petra Gläser scored back-to-back baskets and then three-balls from Fröhlich and Müller extended the lead to 81-74 with 2:30 remaining.
And Müller made two foul shots with 25 seconds left for the final scoreline, allowing Germany to overcome nine fourth-quarter turnovers.
"We had bad stretches of two or three minutes and would have three or four turnovers and they would hit some threes. That's part of the game," said Silvert. "I have a lot of experience but the players miss a lot of experience, except Maria, who had a great game. The turnovers were just really bad for us today."
On Tuesday, Germany face Belgium while Romania must bounce back against Lithuania.