France Back In Business With Win Over Greece

03 September 2005

France picked themselves up off the canvas following their thrashing by the Czech Republic and beat a determined Greece 71-56 on Saturday in the EuroBasket Women.

Les Bleues, considered gold medal contenders before the tournament, were hammered by the Czechs 65-45 on Friday.

It was a different story one day later for Alain Jardel's team.

Audrey Sauret Gillespie (France)
Audrey Sauret Gillespie had a game high 17 points
His players stormed out to a 19-point lead (32-13) with 2:35 remaining in the second quarter but were unable to put away a Greek team that was riding high after an opening day win over Germany.

Greece were thoroughly dominated on the boards but they clawed their way back, pulling to within four at 50-46 with 1:23 remaining in the third quarter when Vasileia Gkouzini converted a three-point play.

Gkouzini led Greece on the night with 18 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals in the game.

But France got an important basket from Emmeline Ndongue just before the end of the quarter.

After receiving a pass from French great Cathy Melain, she laid the ball up and in to restore a six-point cushion.

That score started a 7-0 run which ended with Elodie Godin's basket nearly three minutes into the fourth quarter, by which time France led 57-46.

Greece got no closer than nine points the rest of the way.

Audrey Sauret Gillespie led France with 17 points.

Greece were just one of 13 from three-point range, and they were outrebounded by France 37-23.

The French defensive pressure also forced Greece into 22 turnovers. Greece forward Evanthia Maltsi, a 28-point scorer in Friday's triumph over Germany, was held to just four points on two of seven shooting, including 0-3 from behind the arc.

If there was an aspect to his team's performance which would have Jardel worried, it was France's free throw shooting. They were nine of 20 (45%) on the night.

Next up for France is a game against unbeaten Latvia, while Greece have the unenviable task of a clash with the unbeaten Czech Republic.

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