Israel Hold Off Slovakia

Liron Cohen and Meirav Dori provided most of the firepower on offense and Israel broke open a close game in the fourth quarter to stun Slovakia in the first game of the Additional Qualifying Tournament for the EuroBasket Women.

In the game staged in Lanciano, Italy, each player buried a trio of three-pointers with Cohen scoring a game-high 24 and Dori weighing in with 20 in an 84-71 triumph.

Dori's contribution will have caught the Slovakians by surprise.

She entered the game having averaged just over six points per contest in Israel's previous four games.

Slovakia led 17-15 after the opening quarter but watched the visitors surge into a 44-31 lead at half-time.

Vladimir Karnay's team stormed back and after the third quarter, trailed only 60-59.

The wheels came off for the home side over the final 10 minutes, though, as the Israelis outscored their hosts 24-12.

Now Israel will reach the EuroBasket if on Thursday night they upset on Poland, a country that hasn't missed playing in a EuroBasket since 1999.

If the Poles and their outstanding guard Agnieszka Bibrzycka prevail, though, the result in the final additional qualifying tournament game between Poland and Slovakia will determine which national side advances to the EuroBasket to play in Group A against Latvia, Turkey and defending champions, the Czech Republic.

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