Romania Seal Britain's Fate In Division B

19.01.2009

Romania held on to defeat Great Britain 71-66 on Monday to clinch first place in the Relegation Round and condemn the Brits to life in Division B.

The Romanians, who also won a close game against Mark Clark's team in Britain on January 10, improved to 5-1 and dropped their opponents to 3-3.

Finland, who blew out already-relegated Bosnia and Herzegovina 95-57 in their game on Monday, improved to 4-2 and also avoided the drop.

Simina Mandache led a balanced Romania scoring attack with 16 points.

Britain had hoped to win the game, which likely would have put them into second place above Finland.

Such a result would have left all three teams with 4-2 records, and the goal differential for the three teams in the games against each other would have been used to determine the order of finish.

Thankfully for Finland, Romania, a team that blew them out by 31 points in their first meeting and then lost last Friday in Finland by 18, had enough fuel in the tank to defeat the Brits.

Romania opened up a 15-point lead early in the second quarter at 32-17 while their biggest advantage after the interval was 57-45 late in third quarter.

Clark's team clawed their way back to trail 64-61, only for Mandache to bury a three-ball for her last points of the game.

Britain ended up cutting the deficit to 69-66 with 15 seconds to play on a Kim Butler jumper.

But they fouled Paula Ciocan with nine ticks remaining and she sank both free throws for the five-point triumph.

Butler finished with 22 points and 10 rebounds for Britain.


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