Lithuania In Control Against Turkey


Lithuania remained undefeated after beating Turkey 90-81 in the Qualifying Round at the U18 European Championship Men 2009, in Hagondange, France.

Marius Linartas' side pulled away late in the second quarter and built a comfortable double-digit lead over the third quarter and early part of the final frame, before the Turks padded the score.

The win saw Lithuania top Group F with a 5-0 mark while Turkey dropped to 3-2, falling to their second consecutive loss in the tournament.

Mustafa Derin's side scored the game's first nine points - seven courtesy of point guard Firat Toz - but Lithuania soon made up for lost time and trailed by just one, 24-23.

And while Turkey cooled off, Jonas Valanciunas and Vytenis Cizauskas warmed up to give Lithuania the scoring punch they needed to outscore their opponents 23-15 and take a 46-39 lead at the break.

When Turkey rested Can Mutaf and Enes Kanter early in the third quarter, Lithuania took full advantage as they took their first double-digit lead, 49-39, on Gilvydas Biruta's three-pointer in the first minute of the period.

With Kanter returning, the Turks got within nine, 61-52 but Lithuania pulled away again and started the fourth quarter up 67-53.

They led by as many as 19, 76-57, on a pair of free-throws by Giedrus Staniulis before Turkey came back to within 88-77 on Safak's Edge's three-pointer with 1:11 left to play and they brought the deficit to under 10 in the closing minute.

Valanciunas finished with 20 points as five players scored in double-digits for Lithuania.

Kanter had 22 points and 12 rebounds for Turkey.

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