Just two days after knocking off the defending champions Czech Republic, Germany crashed back to reality, suffering a 76-63 loss to Turkey in Group E of the 2007 EuroBasket Women qualifying round.
Yasemin Horasan scored 18 points while Birsel Vardarli added 14 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and two steals to lead a balanced Turkish attack.
|Yasemin Horasan led Turkey with 18 points and seven rebounds.|
“We're not looking back. We're looking forward. This is a huge win for our team,” said Sebnem Kimyacioglu, who added 11 points while Esmeral Tuncluer had 13 and Nilay Yigit chipped in 12 points.
The Turks, who were playing without their star center Nevriye Yilmaz, collected the victory because of some hot outside shooting – 10-of-21 (48%) - and out-rebounding Germany 36-27 with superior hustle.
Germany made just 5-of-17 (29%) from three-point range and 8-of-13 (62%) from the foul stripe and the game got out of reach with a 14-0 Turkey run late in the first half.
Anne Breitreiner hit for 19 points, Martina Weber had 16 and Linda Fröhlich added 10 points as Germany played catch-up the rest of the game.
"I think everybody could see that we were tired and the Turkish team were much quicker,” said German coach Imre Szittya. “We couldn't control the Turkish guards and if we tried to play zone defense they would hit us with good three-point shots. We also had problems in rebounds.”
On Tuesday, Germany face Latvia and Turkey take on Lithuania as both Germany and Turkey still have chances for the quarter-finals.
The Turks proved they didn't need Yilmaz early as Horasan scored 10 points in the first quarter in helping Turkey build a 22-15 lead going into the second – though Breitreiner
|Coach Cem Akdag's team finally played like many had expected them to.|
Fröhlich hit back-to-back baskets and a Breitreiner three-pointer had Germany to within 25-22 with 6:26 to go in the half, but Tuncluer buried a long bomb and Vardarli dropped two of her own in a 14-0 Turkish spurt for a 39-22 scoreline.
Breitreiner's three-pointer snapped a 5:29 stretch without a basket for Germany, who trailed 44-28 when Tuncluer drained another trey in the closing seconds of the first half.
Turkey extended their advantage to 19 points - 51-32 - on Kimyacioglu's three-pointer early in the second half.
Germany's offense continued to sputter and the Turkish cushion was up to 23 points following Horasan's foul shots with four minutes left.
Germany finally put together three baskets and the deficit was trimmed to 16 points - 57-41 - following Martina Weber's late three-point play.
Vardarli however struck from downtown at the buzzer for a 60-41 Turkey lead.
In the final quarter, Germany found some rhythm offensively but still trailed 66-47 after another Kimyacioglu bomb with six minutes left.
Szittya's defense forced Turkish turnovers on four straight possessions and Germany fought back to 10 points – 66-56 with four minutes to play.
But Yigit converted a driving lay-up and drained a very long three-pointer on back-to-back possessions and the advantage was back at 15 points – 73-58 in the final minute.