Pawlak Free Throws Lifts Poland To Victory

10 September 2006

Poland got their EuroBasket Women campaign back on track with a 74-72 win against Croatia on Sunday.

Having lost convincingly to Germany in their opening contest, Poland pipped Croatia at the death thanks to a steady display of nerves at the free throw line by Paulina Pawlak.

Pawlak went to the line with 17 seconds remaining, Poland leading 72-70 and the chance to ice the game.

She duly hit both to give Poland a four-point advantage and the game.

The game was close throughout and no more so than in a tense and exciting fourth quarter.

Croatia seemed to have matters well under control early in the quarter and Ivana Puzar's three-pointer gave them an eight-point lead after three minutes, 60-52.

But Poland replied with a 12-4 run capped by a Magdalena Leciejewska jump shot which gave the home team the lead, 64-63.

The teams traded baskets before Agnieszka Bibrzycka took over. She converted a three-point play to give Poland a 70-68 advantage, and after an Ana Lelas miss, nailed a jump shot to extend the lead to four points, 72-68.

Sandra Popovic came through with a lay-up for Croatia, but Pawlak's free throws sealed the deal for Poland.

Bibrzycka and Leciejewska both finished with 16 points for Poland who take on Sweden on Wednesday.

Croatia face group leaders Germany.


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