At the end of the first quarter-final of Eurobasket 2001, Turkey beat Croatia 87-85 in overtime after falling back 19 points (37-56) in the 3rd quarter and 13:20 remaining. The Croatians were also comfortable with a 16-point lead (44-28) at the end of the 1st half.
Erdenay at the playmaker spot, Türkcan and Okur recovering Besok's early foul trouble, Turkey melted the difference minute by minute and cut the lead to 9 points at the end of the 3rd quarter. Croatia hitting 60 percent behind the arc in first 20 minutes started missing the open shots and Turkey took the advantage of fast breaks. The Turkish defense got stronger and stronger and the Croatians failed to score a FG during a 6 minutes period. Okur's dunk and a following successful free-throw put Turkey just behind Croatia with 4 minutes to go. Then, a 3-pointer came from this brave guy. Turkey took the lead with 2:15 to go. The Croatians answered with a 3-pointer and Turkey missed chances in the offense. But, the Turkish defense proved its success forcing Croatia to a 24-second violation with 21 seconds to go and the score was 72-73. Türkoglu played a one on one ending with a missing a lay-up but Türkcan grabbed the board and was fouled with the buzzer. After missing the first one, Türkcan hit the second attempt and the regular time ended 73-73.
Turkey playing a comfortable overtime reached at its peak with Erdenay's 3-pointer, 86-79 and 1:40 to go. Croatia scored freethrows but it was not enough for the game.
Having big support from 10.500 fans even at the worst moments of the game, Turkey not only qualified for the semi-final of Eurobasket 2001 but also made a history by reaching the last 4 for the first time. Turkey also qualified for the 2002 World Championships to be held in Indianapolis, USA.
Giricek had 26, Mualomerovic 22 points for Croatia. Mirsad 20, Okur, Türkoglu, and Kutluay had 16 each for Turkey.