Finland rolled to their fifth consecutive triumph in EuroBasket Division B on Tuesday against Austria to remain one victory clear of Georgia in Group C.
Talented guard Teemu Rannikko had a sensational night, torching Austria for 29 points as the northern European side prevailed 87-63.
Rannikko caught fire from the arc, burying five of his seven (71.4%) attempts on the night.
As a team, Finland were 11 of 25 (44%) from long range.
With the Georgians cruising to an 88-60 win at Luxembourg, Henrik Dettman’s Finns needed a victory to hold on to the outright lead and despite a determined effort for three quarters from Austria, they ended up winning easily.
The Austrians did lead in this contest with three minutes remaining in the first half at 33-32 after a pair of Davor Lamesic free throws.
Finland then surged ahead with Tuukka Kotti’s basket sparking a 13-3 run.
By half-time, Rannikko had 20 of his points, and Finland led 47-39.
Austria proved resilient and chipped away at the Finns.
With 3:01 remaining in the third quarter, they had closed the gap to 55-54 after a made three-pointer from Christian Kollik.
Finland replied with Petteri Koponen’s three-ball and extended their lead back to 63-56 by the end of the third.
They outscored the Austrians 24-7 over the final 10 minutes and won by 24 points.