Les Bleues Soar To Another Victory

01 August 2009

by Paul Nilsen

Christelle Diallo recovered from her ankle injury to claim 10 points and 7 rebounds as France topped Group D with another stunning display as they crushed winless Germany by 77-42.

The center did however claim that France still have plenty of work to do despite their 100 percent record, suggesting that the players don't see themselves as favourites.

"We had too many turnovers in the game and this was a problem that we have to correct in the next games."

"We have not seen much of the other teams so it is difficult to say whether we are favourites but we really do not think of it like this."

"I was worried about my ankle when it happened because nobody wants to miss any court time when the team is playing well and winning."

"I am looking forward to now testing myself against teams in the Qualifying Round as are the rest of the players."

All of the talk prior to the game was about the defence of France and they certainly made it tough for Germany in a sensational first half when they kept their opponents to 21 points in twenty minutes.

The German team had no answer to the level of intensity imposed by France and buckled under the pressure with 9 turnovers in the first quarter and doing little better in the second period.

Germany just couldn't get any good open looks with France swarming all over the court and locking down any perimeter threat. France went on an early 11-2 run and never looked back.

They got lay-ups in transition and looked for Diallo inside who obliged with 10 points while forward Margaux Galliou also weighed in with 10 points during the first half.

Such was the dominance of the French team that they had ten players managing to score in what was yet another slick team performance although their shooting was not as impressive from outside.

Only Laura Hebecker was able to penetrate the French defence to any great effect with 10 points and some nice inside scores but it was barely noticeable with her team trailing 50-21.

Germany did compete far more effectively after the break. They managed to at least match some of the intensity of France and having been behind by as many as 36, scored 8 of the last 12 points in the period to go into the final ten minutes 68-36 behind.

Little changed however in the final period as France, despite 22 turnovers, continued to control the game and whatever Diallo might say, they now look to be one of the teams to beat in the quest for gold.

Meanwhile after three defeats, Germany now have to focus on getting a first win in Naples and will need two as they look to avoid a dreaded drop into Division B via the Classification Round.

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