Hungary are the bronze medal winners at the European Championship for U18 Women. They defeated a Jelena Dubljevic-less Serbia & Montenegro side to win their second bronze in the history of the competition (the other came in 1994).
Dubljevic, Serbia & Montenegro’s top scorer and rebounder, was forced to sit out the game after turning an ankle in the closing minutes of her team’s semi-final loss to Spain.
Her absence gave Hungary an inside advantage, but it was one they were not able to exploit until the 3rd quarter.
Up until that point, the game was tied and it was only in the closing seconds of the 2nd period that Hungary began to pull away. They kept the momentum going into the third, and opened the period with a 9:3 run. At the 27 minute mark, Hungary’s lead had stretched to 15 points and the game looked to be effectively over.
|Hungarian captain Barbara Semsei|
Serbia & Montenegro, however, were not about to give up. They outscored Hungary 8:2 in the remainder of the quarter and went into the fourth trailing by 7 points, 53:46.
Serbia & Montenegro’s final hope came with 2 minutes and 50 seconds on the clock. Miljana Musovic’s 3-pointer capped a 6:0 run and suddenly they trailed by just 5-points, 60:55.
But a 3-pointer from Hungary’s Rita Kollo ended Serbia & Montenegro’s chances.
Trailing by 8 points and with just one minute and a half remaining, Serbia & Montenegro were forced to foul and hope Hungary would miss their free throws.
Hungary have been the second best team in the tournament from the line (69.5%) and they hit 10/14 to ensure that Serbia & Montenegro had no chance to come back.
In addition to her game-breaking 3-pointer, Kollo was Hungary’s top performer in the game and racked up 26 points.