Serbia & Montenegro 104 Israel 67

24.09.2003

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Lara Mandic had 22 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists
Serbia & Montenegro started these European Championships on a losing note but they go into the quarter-final round on a two-game winning streak after a comprehensive triumph over Israel.

Lara Mandic poured in a game-high 22 points and had nine rebounds as Miodrag Veskovic's troops kept Israel winless in Group A.

Just how good Serbia & Montenegro are remains to be seen. One thing is for certain - they know how to shoot free throws. On the game, Serbia & Montenegro sank 34 of 38 frm the line.

They must still prove that against quality sides like the Czech Republic and Poland, two countries who beat the Serbo-Montenegrins, they can rise to the occasion.

At least they have beaten France, the defending European champions.

This match went predictably to form, with the Israeli defence showing no indication early that they would be able to stop Serbia & Montenegro, who made nine of 15 shots in the opening quarter.

They also repeatedly put Veskovic's team on the free throw line where they converted eight of nine en route to a 27-21 advantage at the end off the first quarter.

As Israel continued to foul, Serbia & Montenegro punished them by sinking 10 of 11 from the line in the second quarter as they stretched their lead to 49-36.

By the end of the third quarter, it was damage control time for Israel who trailed 78-48.

Ultimately, they were unable to prevent their opponents from hitting the century mark, confirming how weak the Israeli defence had been on the night.

Daliborka Vilipic also had a fine game for the winners with 21 points - she made nine of 10 from the free throw line.


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