By Cindy Garcia-BennettGermany overcame 25 turnovers and shocked the Czech Republic on Friday 54-47 in the surprise result so far at the EuroBasket Women.
The Czechs, who beat Russia to the gold medal two years ago in Turkey and one of the favorites in this year's event, struggled against an intense German defense while Linda Frohlich led the winners with 18 points and 10 rebounds.
"It was awesome," said Frohlich.
|Linda Fröhlich was awsome for Germany with 18 points and 10 rebounds.|
"Our backs were against the wall after we didn't take any points with us into the round. We had to refocus and to prove that we could do it.
"We believed from the beginning of the game that we had a chance to beat this team.
"This is a big win for sure, but we still have two wins before we get to where we want to go."
Germany, who finished third in Group B after losing to Belgium and Lithuania, out-rebounded Jan Bobrovsky's Czechs 44-34 - 14 of those coming on the offensive glass.
A Frohlich layup tied the contest at 45-45 with four minutes remaining and jump shots by Natalie Gohrke and Frohlich extended the lead to 49-45.
Martina Weber followed with a pair of free throws and Germany held on for victory.
Frohlich helped set the tone early by scoring eight points in the first quarter as Germany led 17-14.
The Czechs stepped up their defense and went on a 6-0 surge over the next five minutes to take the lead but Roli-Ann Nikagbatse ended the drought for the Germans with a layup on a fastbreak.
Jana Vesela's jumper gave the Czechs a 27-25 half-time lead, with Eva Viteckova leading all scores with 11 points.
Germany's tenacious defense and strong rebounding kept them in the game and the contest went into the final quarter level at 38-38.
Neither team shot the ball well with Germany making 20 of 50 (40%) from the floor.
The Czechs were 19 of 64 (29.6%) overall.
"Germany played really well," said Czech forward Jana Vesela."We just have to come out and win our next two games."
Viteckova led the Czechs in scoring with 15 points.
Germany take on Turkey on Sunday while the Czech Republic take on Lithuania.