Poland, Latvia Stay Perfect In Group C

10 July 2009

Latvia topped Lithuania 85-69 while Poland had no problem handing the Czech Republic a 76-59 loss.

Hosts Poland went to 2-0 with a commanding victory over the Czech Republic. 

The key to the win came in paying attention to the basics- shooting the ball well and out-rebounding your opponent.

The Poles made 54% of their field goal attempts while limiting the Czechs to just 37% from the field.

Poland won the battle of the boards by 43-29.

A lot of that scoring and grunt work under the glass came from the hands of their power forward Ewelina Gala who had a game-high 21 points to go along with seven rebounds. 

Poland got out to a 6-0 lead, but the Czechs came back and went out front 18-15 on a Katerina Novotna (15 points, five rebounds, four assists) three-point play to close the first quarter.

The teams traded baskets and a Dana Kuslitova jump shot brought the Czechs to within one point (24-23) with 5:36 to play in the first half. 

Poland then went on a 15-point run capped by a Paulina Antczak (10 points) lay-up to give Poland a 41-23 lead with a little over a minute to play before the break. 

Even though the Czechs would get the lead back under ten points late in the third, Poland never let them back into the game. 

Latvia lower boom on Lithuania

Latvia downed Lithuania 85-69 to go 2-0 in Group C.

The Latvian offensive explosion was powered by Elina Babkina's 14 points and seven assists and Lisa Surkusa's 14 points, six boards and two assists.

Speaking of assists, Latvia dished the ball like it was a hot potato.  As a team they tallied up 22 dimes between them, a figure which had a lot to do with their 53% shooting as a team.

Lithuania's cause was defended by Saule Kontautaite and Kamile Nacickaite who each had ten points. 

Their star Gintare Petronyte was held to just nine.

Lithuania was able to get an early 11-10 lead, but it sure did not last long.  Latvia ended the first quarter up 22-13. 

An Agneta Morkunaite tip-in cut the Latvian lead to eight points (30-22) at the 6:50 mark in the second. 

But then Latvia went on a 15-0 run capped by a Babkina jumper that pushed their lead out to 23 points (45-22).

Lithuania would not challenge their Baltic neighbours again.

Latvia will take on Poland to see which team will go through first of the group. 

The Czech Republic and Lithuania will face off in a do-or-die match-up with the loser going to the Relegation Round. 

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