Slovakia Rally Against Croatia To Secure Qualification


Slovakia defeated Croatia 67-52 in Spisska Nova Ves on Wednesday night to clinch a place in next year's EuroBasket Women in Riga, Latvia.

The Slovakians, coached by Pokey Chatman, improved to 5-3 and though Hungary could still equal their record, Slovakia would win the head-to-head tie-breaker on a superior goal differential in their two games.

France (6-1) assured themselves of a first-place finish with their overtime win over the Hungarians on Saturday.

On Wednesday, Croatia made Slovakia sweat with the score knotted at 31-31 at half-time.

The visitors even led 36-33 early in the third quarter.

The decisive blows were landed when Slovakia outscored Croatia 14-4 over the last 5:18 of the third quarter for a 55-45 lead.

Slovakian center Anna Jurcenkova poured in six of her 12 points in that decisive run.

The closest Croatia would get the rest of the way was 55-50.

Zuzana Zirková ended up with 19 points and six rebounds to lead Slovakia with Lucia Kupcikova pouring in 17 and hauling in five boards.

Marta Cakic had 12 points and eight rebounds for Croatia.



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