Group D: Zlatanova Paces Bulgaria, France Cruise Past Germany

13 July 2007

Tournament hosts Bulgaria broke open a close game early in the third quarter and eventually beat Ukraine 81-69 on the opening day of the U20 European Championship.

Bulgaria trailed 41-40 at the break but went on a 7-0 surge at the start of the next quarter and used that run as a launchpad for victory.

Ekaterina Dimitrova (Bulgaria)
Ekaterina Dimitrova scored 18 points for Bulgaria.
Ukraine went into the last stanza trailing 62-52 and were unable to claw their way back.

Bulgarian power forward Jaklin Zlatanova had a game- high 25 points while she brought down 12 rebounds.

"This was a very important win for us," said Bulgarian captain Ekaterina Dimitrova, who added 18 points.

"We know how vital it is to get to a good start in this tournament.

"Ukraine made us work hard but in the end we got what we wanted."

France 83, Germany 65

Carinne Paul (France)
Carinne Paul and France won thanks to a key 11-0 second half run.
Germany put on a brave fight but it wasn't sufficient as they lost 83-65 to France on the opening day of the U20 European Championship for Women.

The terrific trio of Melanie Arnaud, Jennifer Digbeu and Laetitia Kamba spirited Les Bleues to victory.

Arnaud erupted for 20 points, Digbeu poured in 16 and Kamba added 14 points and 12 rebounds.

Germany got 11 points from Nadine Grieb in the opening quarter and only trailed 22-18 after 10 minutes played.

Grieb was limited to just two points in a further 18 minutes.

Germany trailed 46-30 at the break but guided by Claudia Sholz they cut the deficit 58-50 at the start of the fourth quarter.

But Les Bleues  handed a knock-out punch with an 11-0 run to take a 69-50 lead with six minutes remaining.

Germany had a tough day shooting the ball, they were 17 of 47 (36.1%) from inside the arc while their opponents were 29 of 49 (59.1%).

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