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Group:  D | 20.06.2011, 20:30h
Group:  D | 20.06.2011, 20:30h
55-64
13 - 166 - 1516 - 1520 - 18
13 - 166 - 1516 - 1520 - 18
Venue: Katowice (POL) |
Spectators: 800 |
Referees: Aleksandar Glisic (SRB), Yaari Rainisch (ISR), Gentian Cici (ALB)

GAME REPORT


France Eliminate Greece

Turning Point: Down 36-19 early in the third quarter, Greece closed the gap to 58-54 with less than two minutes remaining. France then went on a 8-1 run to clinch victory.

Game Hero: France´s Sandrine Gruda had seven of her game-high 19 points in the final quarter and pulled down eight rebounds.

Stats Don't Lie: Greece were one-for-14 (7%) from inside the arc in the first half and finished 12-for-33 (36%.) Greece´s Evanthia Maltsi was 0-for-five at the break but ended the game six-for-12 (50%). France out-rebounded Greece, 39-28.

France brought an end to the EuroBasket Women campaign of Greece with a 64-55 win in Katowice that also allowed Croatia to enter Round 2.

Beaten in overtime on Sunday by Latvia, France had their progression to the next stage guaranteed when Latvia defeated Croatia earlier on Monday.

Greece, who lost to the Croatians on Sunday in the waning seconds, had to beat the French to advance and despite cutting a 17-point deficit to just four points in the fourth quarter were unable to stop the inside game of Les Bleues.

Pierre Vincent's plan seemed to be to feed the low post every trip down the floor.

Star center Sandrine Gruda and his players executed the strategy more times than not.

Gruda and the big French centers and forwards caught pass after pass and powered their way up for basket after basket.

She finished with 19 points and the French ended up scoring 32 overall in the paint.

When France didn't score, they grabbed offensive rebounds - 16 in all - and that helped them pour in 17 second-chance points.

Greece had a good start in the game but France went on a 13-3 run over the last five minutes of the second quarter to take a 31-19 lead.

With Evina Maltsi struggling, Greece looked as if they might be headed for a blowout defeat.

The French opened up a 17-point lead, aided by the technical Stella Kaltsidou received for throwing the ball over the advertising boards underneath the basket out of frustration.

Greece seemed to be spurred on by the technical and began to fight back with Maltsi finally finding her game.

She wound end up hitting a couple of three-balls and scoring eight points in the third quarter as Greece began to believe in their chances again and cut the gap to 46-35.

In the fourth quarter, Kaltsidou was unfortunate to have been judged to have flopped while closely guarding Jennifer Digbeu and was slapped with a second technical foul.

The French capitalized by making one of the two free-throws but Greece didn't give up and twice got to within four points, each time after jump shots from Maltsi - the MVP of the EuroBasket Women two years ago in Latvia.

After the first Maltsi basket made it 54-50, France's Clemence Beikes grabbed an offensive rebound off a missed three-ball and made a lay-up.

Following the second Maltsi basket, which had cut the French advantage to 56-52, Emilie Gomis darted into the lane and scored an easy lay-up.

France then added four straight free-throws to ice the victory.

Maltsi finished with 16 points for Greece and Dimitra Kalentzou walked off the court with 14.

The finish was in stark contrast to what Greece enjoyed in Riga two years ago when they reached the Quarter-Finals and ultimately clinched fifth place to reach the FIBA World Championship for Women for the first time.

In addition to Gruda, who also had eight rebounds, Gomis also hit double figures in points with 10.

France will take on Spain in their first Round 2 game on Wednesday in Katowice while Croatia, who advanced as the third-place team in Group C, will square off against Montenegro.

Latvia, the Group D winners, will meet hosts Poland.

 

COACH QUOTES


Quotes Greece vs. France

France Head Coach Pierre Vincent:
"We knew Greece was going to be dangerous because we have played against them many times. We did a great job in the first half. We were aggressive on defense and executed our offense well. Sometimes we put too much focus on our interior play that we forget about our outside game as was the case in the second half. I knew the team would react after yesterday´s loss to Latvia."

France Center Sandrine Gruda:
"It wasn´t that easy for us to get ready for this game. When you lose a game like yesterday that we should have won, you start to question yourself. But we learned from that experience, which is something you need to do if you are to become a great team. We did much better on our inside play today than with respect to yesterday and we were more aggressive on defense."

Greece Head Coach Kostas Missas:
"Congratulations to France. They are a great team and they will go on to win medals. We started well but then we allowed France to take control. We put a lot of effort to get back in the game and it was close. But France has a lot of experience."

Greece Center Pelagia Papamichail:
"We are as disappointed as we can be. But we did not miss out on qualification today but rather with yesterday´s loss against Croatia. We fought hard today and gave it a shot. But I think we have to learn to be more focused from the start of the tournament and learn to do the basics better."

Top performers

Accumulated statistics

37.7%

20/53
FG
M/A

40.4%

21/52

36.4%

12/33
FG2P
M/A

45.0%

18/40

40.0%

8/20
FG3P
M/A

25.0%

3/12

63.6%

7/11
FT
M/A

79.2%

19/24

28

12/16
RT
RO/RD

39

16/23

9

AS

13

12

TO

15

7

ST

6

3

BS

2

22

PF

18

55

Pts

64

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