Serbia & Montenegro Claim First Victory

03 September 2005

Serbia & Montenegro suffered a late collapse but held on to beat Lithuania 77-74 on the second day of the EuroBasket Women in Turkey.

Playing in Izmir where all of the Group B contests are being staged, solid performances from Lithuanians Sandra Valuzyte and Egle Sulciute were not enough for the Baltic side to claim a second consecutive triumph following their opening victory against Spain.

The former had a game high of 19 points while the latter ended up with 18 points.

The game looked to be all over with four minutes left and the Serbo-Montenegrins, who had led from the start of the game, holding a 76-59 advantage.

But the Lithuanians put on their best display in the last two minutes, going on an 11-0 run before running out of time.

Point guard Milica Dabovic, who only played nine minutes in their opening defeat against Turkey, fired her team to victory with 15 points.

The 23-year-old also hauled down five rebounds and came up with seven steals.

Zoran Kovacic's team took a 15-7 lead six minutes into the opening quarter but the Lithuanians stayed within striking distance and when Sulciute laid one up and in, her side trailed 23-20.

Lithuania then had a second quarter to forget, scoring a just two points in eight minutes.

That allowed Serbia & Montenegro to go on an 11-2 run to lead 34-22 with 3:09 to play in the first half.

It was the Lithuanians' turn to have a spurt. Sulciute's free throws capped a 9-0 run as they trimmed the deficit to 34-31 with 1:27 still to play before the break.

Kovacic's team finished stronger, though, closing the half with six straight points for a 40-31 advantage at the break.

Serbia & Montenegro stretched their lead after the interval and were cruising until the last four minutes of the game.

The Lithuanians chipped away. Fortunately for Kovacic and Co, the game finished when it did.

Serbia & Montenegro face Romania on Sunday while Lithuania meet Turkey.

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