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Group:  D | 19.06.2011, 20:30h
Group:  D | 19.06.2011, 20:30h
59-56
13 - 169 - 1214 - 1314 - 99 - 6
13 - 169 - 1214 - 1314 - 99 - 6
Venue: Katowice (POL) |
Spectators: 800 |
Referees: Aleksandar Glisic (SRB), Haydn Jones (WAL), Gentian Cici (ALB)

GAME REPORT


Latvia Beat France In OT Classic

Turning Point: Trailing 40-30 late in the third quarter, Latvia went on a 20-6 run to take a 50-46 lead with less than three minutes remaining in regulation and held on to take the game to overtime.

Game Hero: Latvia's Elina Babkina had 20 of her game-high 26 points in the second half.
She poured in six of her team´s nine points in overtime, including two crucial free-throws to put Latvia 58-55 ahead with 10 seconds remaining.

Stats Don't Lie: France were four-for-nine (44%) from three point range at the break but finished four-for-20 (20%). France were 18-for-26 (69%) from the free-throw line while Latvia finished 12-for-17 (71%).



Latvia rode the back of their new star Elina Babkina and shocked defending champions France on Sunday in overtime to throw the race to the next round of the EuroBasket Women wide open in Group D.

Babkina, the country's 22-year-old point guard, exploded for 26 points and led the Baltic side to a 59-56 triumph.

A playmaker for Lotos Gdynia in Poland this season who is leaving for Fenerbahce, Babkina had 22 of her points in the second half and overtime.

The result means that France, Latvia, Greece and Croatia all have 1-1 records going into the last day.

France will take on Greece and Latvia will face Croatia.

The sides that win will seal their progression to the next stage while a tie-breaker between the two losing sides will be used to determine the third team to move on.

France, who blew out Croatia 86-40 on Saturday, led by 10 points in the first half but Latvia hung around with coach George Dikeoulakos making good use of his timeouts to keep his players focused against the deep and talented Les Bleues.

In a thrilling finish to regulation, Latvia got a Liene Jansone baseline jumper and another from Babkina on a fastbreak for a 50-46 lead.

Babkina then intercepted a pass by Emmeline Ndongue and tried to run up the floor on another fastbreak but Ndongue alerted chased after her and batted the ball into the hands of Celine Dumerc.

The France point guard went hard to the basket and scored with a left-handed lay-up to reduce the deficit to two.

Following a turnover by Latvia's Ieva Kublina, Ndongue grabbed an offensive rebound off a miss by Sandrine Gruda and scored to knot the contest at 50-50.

Both sides had chances to win at the end, including France in the waning seconds when Edwige Lawson-Wade drove in from the wing and tried to pass to Gruda as she moved toward the basket.

But Latvia's defense denied the pass and the game went to overtime.

France then went in front by four after Gruda and Ndongue made two free-throws apiece.

Babkina made a lay-up despite being closely guarded by Lawson-Wade and also hit a jump shot to pull her team level.

Zane Tamane then put Latvia in front to stay with a pair of free-throws.

Gruda had an opportunity to tie the game again but made just one of two at the charity stripe with 17 seconds left.

France fouled Babkina to stop the clock, and ensure they would get the ball back.

Babkina made both attempts for a 58-55 lead.

Latvia then elected to foul Lawson-Wade to prevent France from attempting a three-pointer.

She made the first free-throw with six seconds to go but intentionally missed the second in the hope of France getting an offensive rebound.

Latvia's Sabine Niedola collected the rebound and France fouled her.

She missed the first and made the second, meaning the French needed a three-ball to force a second extra period.

Lawson-Wade managed to launch an attempt as time expired but missed, leading to celebrations on the court for the Latvia players.

 

COACH QUOTES


Quotes Latvia vs. France

France Head Coach Pierre Vincent:
"We knew Latvia would play well. They did a great job to close our inside play and we could not shoot from outside. We thought we were in control in the third quarter but we lost control of the game and they took over."

France Guard Celine Dumerc:

"Congratulations to Latvia. They did a great job. Even when we were in front we could not find our rhythm in offense and that is because they pressed us with a great defense. They did a good job at closing our inside game and made us take longrange shots. We need to put this defeat behind us and remain positive."

Latvia Head Coach George Dikeoulakos:
"We beat one of the best teams in Europe. We tried to eliminate their inside game and their perimeter players felt the pressure. I am happy with how the team played but we must turn the page and think about tomorrow´s game. If we lose tomorrow we are out so we cannot be over-confident just because we beat France."

Latvia Captain Gunta Basko:
"We have to remember that this is the EuroBasket and we always go out determined to win. We played with heart, we played together, it was a real team effort. We did a good job at stopping their low-post players, which is one of their main strengths and let them shoot from outside. Fortunately, they struggled shooting from long range in the second half."

Top performers

Accumulated statistics

37.5%

21/56
FG
M/A

26.6%

17/64

38.1%

16/42
FG2P
M/A

30.2%

13/43

35.7%

5/14
FG3P
M/A

19.0%

4/21

70.6%

12/17
FT
M/A

69.2%

18/26

43

12/31
RT
RO/RD

44

20/24

9

AS

15

19

TO

17

7

ST

9

0

BS

7

19

PF

21

59

Pts

56

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