Russia completely outplayed France this evening to take the title of the Eural Trans Gas European Championship for U20 Women 2004. They were clearly the stronger of the two teams and simply played in a different class from their hosts. Once they established a lead they held onto it for the remainder of the game, their solid defence impervious to any French attack.
In contrast to the previous game, this Semi-Final was won almost entirely on defence and both teams had great trouble putting the ball in the net. Neither team was able to put away the easy basket and points were missed on the fastbreak as well as in the paint. France shot a miserable 37% from 2-point land and only redeemed themselves by shooting 4/8 from outside the 3-point line. Hungary hit only 34% in twos and didn’t make one single 3-pointer in 7 attempts.
The 4th and final Quarter-Final turned out to be a non-event as the home team blew away their opponents and spent most of the second half running a practice game for the upcoming Semi-Final. Croatia had no chance from the very start against hosts France who dominated throughout.
Finland 49 – Russia 81
Thanks to Russia’s loss yesterday to Ukraine, this game was do-or-die for both teams as a win handed the victor the last Quarter-Final place from Group A. Finland were still on an up after a great show against Slovak Republic but after the first 10 minutes today already started to look a little tired. Russia, however, looked in great shape, the key players having not played a lot of minutes against Ukraine.
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