Brave Croatia Fall to France

19.06.2013

EUROBASKET WOMEN 2013

Emilie Gomis (France)
Emilie Gomis and France remain unbeaten, with the final score not indicative of how dominant the ladies in blue were

By Joe Hewison

Turning Point: This game was over as early as midway through the first quarter when a 12-0 run saw France storm into a 16-2 lead although Croatia did their best to come back into it late on.

Stats Don't Lie: France came out on top in all areas but were particularly dominant on the boards where they pulled down 46 compared to Croatia's 35.

Game Hero: Once again there were a host of players who could claim this tag. But Edwige Lawson-Wade made and finished some of the best plays of the night and kept up the intensity when Celine Dumerc got her rest.

France forward Diandra Tchatchouang feels the way Croatia hit back at the hosts in the second half of their 78-70 win, should serve as a warning against complacency.

The hosts never looked in any danger of losing this game, the first of their second round matches, when they raced into a 23-8 lead at the end of the first period and extended the advantage to 24 by half-time (43-19).

But as France relaxed, Croatia stepped up their game, hit four three-pointers and embarked on a 22-9 run late in the third quarter.

The hosts held on comfortably but will not have been pleased with the way they allowed the deficit to be cut to just eight by the end.

"I think we started very well but in the second half we let them get hot behind the three-point line," said the 22-year-old Tchatchouang.

"Against this type of team it is difficult to stop them when they hit one and start to hit a few in a row.

"I think we let them in because we did a good job on ball screens and not giving them easy looks in the first half but in the second half we went under the screens and that's what they wanted.

"They wanted us to go under the screens so they could get easy looks.

"In the first three games we were up by around 15 at half-time but didn't let them back in the game.

"But in this game because we were up by 20, we stopped playing and that is how they came back. We have to be careful for that in the next games."

Luckily for France the lead they built-up before the half was enough to see them through.

Tchatchouang had eight points and seven rebounds while Edwige Lawson-Wade scored a team-high 14.

Ana Lelas led Croatia's comeback, scoring 18 points and she was perhaps more satisfied at the final buzzer.

"We started really badly," said Lelas. "In the second half we relaxed a little bit and decided to play our game no matter what.

"We lost today but I think we showed that we can play better than we did in the last two games of Group D.

"The fact that we finished this game just eight behind is a good for the mentality of our team."

 

 

 


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