France Survive Latvia Test To Remain Perfect


France overpowered Latvia 74-65 to claim first place in Group F heading into the Quarter-Finals of the U20 European Championship Women 2009 in Gdynia, Poland.

It was no mystery that France's strength lay in their inside players and today it was never as evident.

France's three post players- Marielle Amant, Doriane Tahane and Ana Cata-Chitiga- combined for 30 points and 23 boards while holding Latvia's Anete Steinberga and Liga Surkusa to a combined two points and four rebounds.

The French won the rebounding battle by 15 (50-35). 

But even after France built a twenty-one point lead (60-39) by the end of the third quarter, Latvia weren't done just yet.

Elina Babkina (game-high 21 points) ran off seven points and sparked the rest of her team to believe in a comeback.

A jumper by Anete Klintsone cut the French lead to ten (63-53) and the French bench looked worried for the first time all evening. 

But Melanie Plust (13 points) was there to drill a three-pointer at the 5:20 mark to push the lead back to 13.

The French shooting guard hit another clutch basket moments later as the shot clock was winding down and with Latvia only nine points away (70-61). 

Her replacement in the backcourt, Aline Fischbach, came off the bench to lead France with 18 points. 

France now face Turkey, the fourth placed team from Group E, in the Quarter-Finals while Latvia is paired up against Serbia, the second placed team.

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