Surkusa Buzzer Beater Earns Latvia Bronze


Latvia's Liga Surkusa hit two huge three-pointers with under forty seconds to play to earn a 78-75 win over Russia and give her team the bronze medal in the U20 European Championship Women 2009. 

The Latvian center's first clutch triple bounced around the rim before falling through to even the score at 73-all with :38 to play

Latvia went ahead on two free-throws by Elina Babkina with ten seconds to play. 

Russia's Evegnia Selyanina drove, missed a jumper, but Natalia Vieru was there to grab the rebound and put it in to tie it with :02 on the clock.

Coach Ainars Cukste called for time and his team inbounded the ball from half-court.  With everyone's eyes on Babkina, the ball instead went to a wide open Surkusa who this time sent in through the net without touching the rim.  

"It was out best game, we all played like a team," said a euphoric Babkina, who led her team with 22 points and eight assists. 

How did Babkina see Surkusa's last second game-winner?

Babkina said that she didn't actually believe it was going through the net.

"It was so excellent! It was an unbelievable shot!"

Except for an early one-point lead, Russia were ahead for almost the entire game. 

Aleksandr Kovalev's squad was led by shooting guard Evgenina Selyanina's 25 points and seven rebounds while center Natalia Vieru added 22 points and twelve boards. 

Nadezda Grishaeva had her usual strong game of 17 points, ten rebounds and three assists, but she fouled out with 3:11 remaining in the fourth.

It was simply a great game of basketball that both teams deserved to win for their effort and their ability to step up and respond in the crucial moments.

Latvia just happened to have that extra bit of magic that was worth the bronze. 

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