Turkey Nose Serbia, Stay Perfect

14.09.2009

Game Summary

Turning point: Novica Velickovic turned the ball over and Hidayet Turkoglu found Ersan Ilyasova for a lay-up and a 67-64 lead with 35 seconds to go in overtime.

Hero: Ilyasova stepped up when his team-mates couldn't. He made seven of 12 shots, including four of six attempts from beyond the arc, and did a bang-up job on the boards.

Stats: Hidayet Turkoglu had a night to forget from an individual standpoint, finishing with just four points on one of 16 shooting. Turkey must also be disappointed at their 18 of 31 performance from the free-throw line.

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Turkey needed overtime but defeated Serbia 69-64 on Monday night to remain undefeated at the EuroBasket and hand the Blues just their second loss in the tournament.

Ersan Ilyasova poured in 22 points and had 11 rebounds for Turkey, who overcame a woeful night at the free-throw line (18 of 31, 58%) and a one-of-16 (6%) shooting effort from the floor by Hedo Turkoglu.

15. Hidayet Türkoglu (Turkey)
Hidayet Türkoglu did not have a good night on offense, but he did record four steals and nearly won the game with a tip in at the buzzer.
Defense has been winning games for Bogdan Tanjevic's team and so it proved again as they forced their opponents to turn the ball over 18 times.

Turkoglu had a game-high four steals and almost won the game at the end of regulation when he attempted to tip-in Kerem Tunceri's runner.

Referees went to the scorer's table and looked at a video replay, determining that the buzzer sounded before the ball had left the superstar's hands.

In the overtime, Semih Erdin was fouled by Nemanja Bjelica and made one of two attempts at the free-throw line for a 65-64 advantage.

Serbia then went the entire extra period without scoring a point.

"I think my players were under a lot of pressure and that's the reason why we didn't score a point in overtime," Serbia coach Dusan Ivkovic said. "The key to this defeat was that we made so many turnovers and had a very low field goal percentage.

"We had a big problem in trying to organize our offense against their zone, but we are definitely in the Quarter-Finals and it's a big success for us.

"Now we just have to do well and prepare for the next game (against Lithuania)."

Ilyasova was elated with the victory that has left Turkey on top in Qualifying Round Group F.

"It was important for us to win this game, having gone into the game with four wins in a row," Ilyasova said.

"Had we lost this game, those wins wouldn't have made a difference."

When asked about his own performance, Ilyasova said: "I wanted to give everything for the team. We gave all that we had in the last five minutes and fortunately we got the win."

The first half was a nip-and-tuck affair with 12 lead changes.

Ilyasova, who drilled two of his four three-pointers before the break, led all scorers with 12 points at half-time with Turkey leading 36-33.

One of his three-balls gave Tanjevic's side their biggest lead of the game at 50-42 with 3:06 to go in the third quarter, only for a Milos Teodosic three-ball to leave Serbia trailing 55-52 at the end of the frame.

The fourth quarter remained tight until the end.

With the contest knotted at 64-64 after Erdin made one of two free-throws with 28 seconds to play, Serbia had a chance to take the lead.

But with the shot clock down to just two seconds, Nenad Krstic passed up a shot in the lane and found Bjelica in the right corner in front of the Turkey bench.

Bjelica failed to release his attempt from long range in time.

Both sides then burned timeouts and when play resumed, Turkey's Kerem Tunceri inbounded the ball to star guard Ender Arslan, who then split the defense by passing ahead to Tunceri.

He streaked in for a lay-up but his shot ended up glancing off the rim.

Turkoglu tapped the ball in but referees, after looking at a video replay, decided it had left his hand too late.

Once in overtime, Turkey won the game.

Teodosic had 16 points, eight assists and six rebounds for Serbia, who also got 12 points, including 11 in the second half, and seven boards from Novica Velickovic.

Krstic, who didn't start and came off the bench at the beginning of the second quarter, finished with 11 points and seven boards.

Omer Asik had 11 points but was not very good at the free-throw line, missing 10 of his 11 attempts.

Serbia were 23 of 27 (85%) at the stripe.


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