By Yarone Arbel
Day six of EuroBasket 2007 showed us teams start to group together and make less turnovers, the end of Alexandra Muller's missed shots streak and a silent second half by Lithuania.
The Good News
Vardarli's Crucial Quarter – Turkey's win over Germany was convincing and had five Turkish players in double-digits, but one of them had a bigger role in the win than the others. Birsel Vardarli added seven rebounds and seven assists to her 14 points but that wasn't her biggest contribution. After one quarter Turkey was on top, but still not in control of the game. In the second Vardarli made sure to make the difference. She scored 11 points on 50% shooting from the field, dished two assists and grabbed four rebounds in
that period and by half-time Turkey was up by 16, and much closer to the quarter-finals.
|Müller has struggled shooting the ball but finally broke out of her slump against Turkey.|
Muller is Back! – Alexandra Muller appeared on this page on day three after collecting a long streak of missed shots. It continued on the fourth day as well and after missing her first four shots in the game against Turkey her streak reached 17 consecutive missed shots, the last of it which was an open lay-up on a fastbreak. Shooters suffer from such streaks more than most and Muller isn't the first to experience it. The good news are that she's back. Muller, a good shooter and a nice person even when she's frustrated on the court, showed that with a great shooting performance in the first game. She managed to break the spell the following play with a lay up, and then a three-pointer. Now she's on a streak of two made shots, hopefully on her way to a new 17 shots streak, this time of the other kind.
Keep Turnovers Low – The average turnovers per team in EuroBasket 2007 is around 17-18 per game. The good news from yesterday's games is that no team crossed that line big time, and most of them actually lowered the average. Belgium (11 Turnovers), Lithuania (13 Turnovers) Turkey (14) and Germany (15) managed to hold on to the ball while Czech Republic (19) and Latvia (20) were a little bit over the edge but still won.
The Bad News
Half Lithuanian– In the first half of their game against the champs from the Czech Republic, Lithuania was dominating and holding a 10 point lead but by the final buzzer their opponents held an eight point margin. What made the difference was that Lithuania went dry in the second half after a great first 20 minutes. The Baltic team missed all seven of their shot attempts from long range in the second half, while inside the arc they struggled as well (8-26) after missing just four shots in the first half.
Germany Went to Sleep – With 6:26 to play in the first half Germany came back from a nine point deficit to cut the Turkeish lead to three. Just like an experienced boxer Turkey knew it was time to send a knock-out punch. In the following five minutes Turkey made a 14-0 run. In that time Germany missed all five of their shots and made two turnovers, that kept them way too far behind to make another comeback.