|10 July 2009|
Tournaments hosts Sweden reached the final four at the U18 European Championship for Women after pulling away in the fourth quarter for a 79-60 win over Lithuania.
Binta Drammeh poured in all of her 15 points in the last quarter as the Swedes beat the country that won last year's title.
Sweden will now go up against a Spanish team they have already played on three occasions this summer and failed to beat each time.
Sweden stormed into a 43-26 half-time lead only to see Lithuania cut the advantage to 49-44 with 10 minutes to play.
|Binta Drammeh came out strong when it mattered most and gave her team a lift in the fourth quarter|
Led by Drammeh, Sweden outscored their opponents 19-10 over the next five minutes.
Drammeh hit four of five (80%) shots inside the arc.
"Drammeh hit big shots for us tonight," said Sweden coach Mikael Johansson. "She really came up strong when it mattered."
Sweden star Cleopatra Forsman-Goga scored 19 of her game-high 25 points in the first half.
She corralled 13 rebounds, had five of her team's 13 steals and blocked two shots.
Lithuania failed to make any of their seven attempts from behind the arc after two quarters, much to the relief of Johansson.
"They produced good open shots," he said.
"We were lucky that they didn't make any of their first half long-range shots because they are good shooting team.
"Other nights they would have made those shots and that would have been 14 points more for them.
"But fortunately for us, they didn't."
Sweden looked to be in total command at half-time but the Lithuanians came out fired up after the break and scored 11 unanswered points as part of an 18-6 run to get back in the contest.
"In the final quarter, I asked my players to show more intensity on defense and more focus and discipline on our offense," said Johansson.
"We have ups and downs in a game but we pulled away with the win."
Lithuania finished three of 16 from long range while Sweden were eight of 24 (33.3%).
Sweden were out-rebounded 48-44.