SMALL COUNTRIES WOMEN
|Austria were crowned champions at the European Championship of the Small Countries Women for the fourth time in their history.|
Austria clinched their fourth title at the European Championship for Small Countries Women with a 68-63 victory over F.Y.R. of Macedonia on Sunday.
Winners in 1989, '93 and '98, the Austrians have cemented their status as the most successful team in the history of the competition.
Malta, winners of the previous two gold medals, settled for bronze this year after downing Scotland in the battle for third, 72-52, with forward Rebecca Thoresen grabbing also an individual award, as she was voted MVP of the tournament.
The gold medal wasn't secure until the last minute for Austria, with F.Y.R. of Macedonia pushing them all the way.
Edina Musa's two free-throws tied the contest at 63-63 with 2:34 remaining for F.Y.R. of Macedonia, who had never won a medal in the competition before this summer.
Sarah Schicher split two free-throws for Austria with 1:41 to go.
F.Y.R. of Macedonia, who edged Austria 41-39 earlier in the competition, missed two shots and turned the ball over on their next three possessions.
Austria's Katharina Podoschek added two free-throws with 10 seconds to go and then made two more with two seconds left for a five-point triumph.
Both teams shot well from the line, with Austria sinking 15 of 17 and F.Y.R. of Macedonia 16 of 19.
Verena Bachler and Nina Suritsch each scored 12 points and Sophia Plank added 11 for the Austrians.
Elena Radenkovic scored 20 points and corralled eight rebounds in a losing effort.
Monika Gavriloska also had a terrific game for F.Y.R. of Macedonia, finishing with 18 points and 13 boards.
|Malta's Rebecca Thoresen averaged 17.0 points, 5.2 rebounds and 4.8 assists, being named MVP of the 2012 European Championship of the Small Countries Women.|
For Malta in their important win, 19-year-old Stephanie De Martino scored 20 points and Thoresen added 18.
Christina Grima scored 12 points, grabbed five boards and handed out four assists while Josephine Grima poured in 10 points, pulled down five rebounds and dished out three assists.
Ashleigh Vella also excelled for Malta with eight points, 10 rebounds and five assists.
Deanne Hayward and Rona Corkindale had 12 points apiece in defeat for the Scots.
In the battle for fifth place, Gibraltar won 65-61 over Wales with Zainya Reyes pouring in 16 points for the winners.
Danielle Jennings scored 17 points in defeat for Wales.
Azerbaijan, meanwhile, prevailed in the fight for seventh place, winning 68-45 against Moldova.
Dina Ulyanova capped a superb tournament with 22 points and 14 rebounds for Azerbaijan, who also got a game-high 27 points from Anastasiya Biryuchkova.
Galina Cuznetov ended up with eight points and 12 rebounds for Moldova.