A pair of second half runs and Yvette Assilamehou's shooting helped France defeat the Ukraine 95-81 this afternoon in the opening day of play at the OSTCHEM U20 European Championship Women in Sopron, Hungary.
With the Ukraine leading 64-62 with 3:43 to go in the third quarter, the defending U20 Women champions went on a 13-3 run over the next three minutes to open up a 75-67 lead.
|Clarisse Costaz had a team-high six assists for France.|
"Despite the score, we played very good defense," said French coach Francis Denis.
"It was very important for us to play more up-tempo in the second half."
Assilamehou, who was used sparingly with France's U20 team last year, scored 21 points on 10-of-13 shooting from the field.
"It was very important we got off to a good start in this tournament," she said.
"Last year championship was a great reward for our hard work and we believe we can win it all again."
Sylvie Gruszczynski and O. C. Auxencia Isabelle Yacoubou each added 18 points for France.
France prevailed despite another exceptional performance from Olexandra Gorbunova, the MVP of both the 2004 U18 and U20 European Championships.
The 186-cm small forward scored 24 points and grabbed seven rebounds.
Anna Pokoiova also scored 24 points for the Ukraine.