Lithuania Come From Behind To Beat Ukraine

03.09.2008

Lithuania beat Ukraine 73-68 on Wednesday to move into second place in EuroBasket Women qualifying Group A.

Coming off a 16-point home setback against group leaders Israel to slump to 3-2, Lithuania needed to prevail to have a good chance of claiming second spot in the standings and book an automatic place in next year's final round in Riga, Latvia.

The triumph means the two teams are now 4-2.

As Lithuania have won both games against Ukraine, the Baltic country has the edge in a head-to-head tie-breaker should the sides finish with the same number of wins and losses.

Diana Razmaite led Lithuania with 17 points while Rima Valentiene poured in 14 and Sandra Valuzyte 12.

Ukraine had only suffered a seven-point defeat at Lithuania in the first encounter, and on Wednesday they had the benefit of playing at home.

The hosts opened up their biggest advantage of the game early in the second half at 47-38 after a three-point play by Olexandra Gorbunova.

A Valuzyte three-ball sparked a 10-0 run for Lithuania and put them on top, only for Gorbunova to take her points haul to 16 with a jump shot and put Ukraine in front at 49-48.

Lithuania had the wind in their sails, though, and reeled off seven more points in a row to lead 55-49.

They stayed in front the rest of the way.

In that decisive spurt, Agne Ciudariene split a pair of free throws and Valentiene made two at the line before Gintare Petronyte drilled a jumper.

Egle Zygelyte capped the run with two more free throws.

Ukraine's Gorbunova and Olena Zherzherunova each had 19 points to lead all scorers.

However, Ukraine were plagued by 21 turnovers and Gorbunova had five off them.

Lithuania turned the ball over just 15 times.

The Lithuanians also shot the ball well inside the arc, making 21 of 41 (51.2%) compared to Ukraine's 17 of 37 (45.9%).

Valuzyte finished as the game's leading rebounder with seven, while Valentiene and Ciudariene came up with five steals apiece.


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