Latvia Handle Poland, Lithuania Stay Alive

11 July 2009

Latvia outgunned Poland 86-69 in a duel of undefeateds to claim first place in Group C.  

Down six points with a minute to go in the second quarter, Latvia decided the best way to win was to shoot the lights out of gym. 

Ainars Cukste's squad went on a 17-0 run over the course of thee minutes stretching  between the end of the second quarter and the opening of the third.

Elina Babkina started the outburst ripping a three-pointer with :34 seconds to go in the half.  

Then her team came out of halftime on fire, not missing on two threes, two free throws, two jumpers and a breakaway lay-up to go up by eleven points (47-36).  

13. Gintare Petronyte (Lithuania)
Gintare Petronyte had a master performance against the Czechs
Ewelina Gala (14 points) finally got Poland on the board with a baseline jumper at the seven-minute mark.

The teams traded baskets and a buzzer-beating triple by Ieva Krastina sent Latvia into fourth ahead 62-49.

Latvia extended the lead all the way to thirty points (78-58) with over four to play.

Poland started the game strong, leading through the entire first half. 

Agnieszka Kaczmarczyk paced Poland with 18 points and eight rebounds.

Babkina kept her team in the game in the first twenty minutes scoring 21 points. 

"This was my best game of the tournament.  I just want to thank God for it."

Latvia's sharp-shooter would finish with 32 for the game.

"We are very happy and very proud of this win," she said. "We just came out and did what we knew we had to do."

Lithuania through, Czechs will fight to stay in Division A

Lithuania rode their star Gintare Petronyte to a 69-57 win over the Czech Republic and booked a ticket for the Qualifying Round.

Ginate Petronyte showed why she was recently awarded the title of 2008 FIBA Europe Young Women's Player of the Year. 

Facing a descent into the realm of the Relegation Round, the center stepped up to lead her team.  

She did a little, or rather, a lot of everything against the Czechs, scoring 22 points, capturing nine rebounds, dishing five assists, grabbing three steals and swatting away three shot attempts. 

Guard Katerina Sedlakova did what she could to keep the Czechs out of the Relegation Round making five assists and scoring eight points. 

Lithuania got out to an early 11-4 lead capped by four straight free throws by Petronyte. 

The Lithuanian center would score nine in the quarter and another of her free throws sent her team into the second period up 20-12.

A jump shot by Dovile Miliauskaite (11 points, 10 boards) gave Lithuania an 11-point lead in the opening moments of the second, but a 5-0 run by the Czechs to close out the quarter cut the Lithuania advantage to just five (33-28) going into halftime.

After Lithuania ran out to an eleven-point lead, the Czechs managed to shave the deficit down to six in the third. 

But a Petronyte three-point bomb as the buzzer sounded restored her team's ten-point lead heading into the fourth, and they never looked back.

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