France demolish Sweden on way to semis


France allowed just three points in the third quarter in demolishing Sweden 80-36 to remain perfect at the Termosteps U16 European Championship Women and book their spot in the semi-finals.

Florine Basque led the way with 18 points while Eléonore Grossemy added 10 points as France forced 34 Sweden turnovers in improving to 4-0 in the Qualifying Round Group E.

Farhiya Abdi was one of the few weapons for Sweden with 14 points, nine rebounds, three assists and three steals as Peter Johansson's team fell to 2-2 in the group and need help to reach the semi-finals. Amanda Zahui was held to just four points against the quick French.

Florine Basque (France, left), Farhiya Abdi (Sweden)
Florine Basque (France, left), Farhiya Abdi (Sweden)
France's defense stymied Sweden early on, forcing five turnovers in their first seven possessions in pulling ahead 5-0 after two minutes. Abdi's sixth point pulled Sweden back to within 11-8 only to see Christelle Diallo hit back-to-back baskets and Esther Moisan Niamke drain a three-ball as Arnaud Guppillotte's team jumped ahead by 10 points,  20-10 after one period. Abdi converted a three-point play to trim the deficit to 22-15 early in the second but Florine Basque hit for seven points as France closed the half on a 18-8 run for a 40-23 lead at intermission.

Sweden had absolutely no answer for the French in the third period as Johansson's side failed to score until Zahui's basket with two minutes left in the quarter, by which time Basque had led a 17-0 run to make it 57-25. And it was 63-26 after three periods. Sweden tried to get back into the game, scoring the first 10 points of the fourth quarter and holding France scoreless in pulling to within 64-36. But the French defense came back to finish off the day and allowed for a 16-0 run to close the game.

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