Nevin Kristen Nevlin scored four points and blocked two shots in the final 64 seconds to secure Turkey a 69-66 victory over Lithuania for their first win in Group C of EuroBasket Women 2009.
Nevlin totaled 18 points, 10 rebounds and three blocks as the Turks evened their mark to 1-1 in the Preliminary Round group.
Saziye Ivegin added 12 points for Ceyhun Yildizoglu's Turks while Birsel Vardarli collected 11 points, five
|Egle Stakneviciene had 30 points and 10 rebounds in the loss.|
"Yesterday's game (a 13-point loss against Russia) taught us a lot. We played against probably the best team in the European championship and we played great against them and saw what we could do against other teams," said Tugba Palazoglu, who chipped in 10 points for the winners.
Turkey look to book their spot in the Qualifying Round on Tuesday as they face off against Serbia.
Lithuania dropped to 1-1 and take on Russia on Tuesday.
Rutenis Paulaukas's team wasted a masterful performance off the bench by power forward Egle Stakneviciene, who collected 30 points and 10 rebounds, including five three-pointers.
Agne Ciudariene scored 16 points, eight rebounds and three steals, but had just two points in the second half. Sandra Valuzyte had 12 points, six rebounds and four assists before fouling out midway through the fourth quarter. And Gintare Petronyte scored just one point after hitting 20 in the first game.
"Our success depends on certain players playing well. But we didn't have enough playing well. And we had too many turnovers," said Paulauskas, whose team lost the ball 17 times.
Lithuania struggled early on with the Turkish pressure, committing five turnovers in going 3:45 without a point in watching Turkey build a 14-2 lead.
Ciudariene's jumper stopped the 11-0 run for Yildizoglu's side but Vardardli's steal and break away lay-up pushed the gap to 18-4. And it was 22-8 after Bahar Caglar's score late in the first quarter.
"We knew that the Lithuanian team does not usually play very well at the beginning of the game. And we wanted to use that as our advantage. Therefore we gave everything we had. And then they warmed up and we were tired and they took advantage of that," said Palazoglu.
Stakneviciene had a jumper and a three-point play before Vardardli's triple made it 25-13 after one period.
Cuidariene scored back-to-back baskets to start the second quarter to get the margin to single digits, 25-17. Palazoglu nailed a three-pointer to snap a two-minute scoreless stretch for Turkey.
The Turks however went the next five possessions without a point while Stakneviciene drained two triples, the second which came as Ciudariene was fouled off the ball and converted two foul shots to make it a five-point play and complete a 12-0 run and give Lithuania a 29-28 advantage.
Three-balls by Valuzyte and Stakneviciene gave Lithuania a 40-36 lead at intermission.
Valuzyte nailed a three-ball and Stakneviciene hit inside to give Lithuania their biggest lead of the game at 45-38 early in the second half. Ivegin and Vardarli both hit triples in an immediate 8-0 answer for a 46-45 lead before Lithuania led 51-50 after three quarters.
The game proved a real dog fight in the fourth quarter as there were two lead changes and two ties until Vardardli's free throw to make it 62-61 with less than three minutes left.
Milda Sauliute came in for the fouled out Valuzyte and converted a three-point play for a 64-62 Lithuania lead. But Ivegin answered right back with a three from the left corner.
Nevlin made two foul shots and then an inside basket for a 69-66 lead with 37 seconds left. She then blocked Stakneviciene with 22 seconds to play.
And after Yasemin Horasan missed two foul shots with 14 seconds, Nevlin saved the day by blocking Stakneviciene's three-point attempt from the left wing with 4.5 seconds to go.
Rutenis Paulauskas, Lithuania Head Coach
"Congratulations to Turkey. As for us, I'm happy that our team fought till the end. A very important moment was when we lost Sandra Valuzyte to foul trouble. We don't have enough good backups."
Omer Petorak, Turkey Assistant Coach"This was a hard game. We showed our country's character on the court as we kept fighting and put the pressure on them. In critical moments we were a bit smarter and we won."