Slovenia Nearly Blow It
Luka Rupnik and Matej Rojc combined for 43 points as Slovenia nearly squandered a 20-point third quarter lead but held on for a 69-65 victory over Germany for their first win in the Qualifying Round Group E of the U18 European Championship Men.
Rupnik had 23 points and Rojc hit for 20 points while Ziga Dimec added 10 points for Slovenia, who improved to 1-3 in the group.
Germany dropped to 1-3 despite 19 points by Dennis Schröder and 15 points and 10 rebounds by Bogdan Radosavljevic.
Slovenia jumped out to an 8-2 lead and still led 15-9 before the Germans got within one point. But Slovenia were ahead 16-14 after one quarter.
Germany were within 22-20 but Rupnik scored nine points in a 19-3 Slovenia surge to go into the break ahead 41-23.
Slovenia pushed the advantage to 20 points, 50-30 with 6:52 remaining in the third quarter before Radosavljevic and Schröder combined for all 13 points in a 13-2 run to pull within 52-43. Slovenia were still ahead 54-45 after three periods.
The Germans continued their fight back into the game and pulled within 59-57 with three minutes left. Trailing 63-61, Germany had a chance to even the game but Besnik Bekteshi turned the ball over with 27 seconds left.
Then Rojc and Rupnik made six of six free throws in the final 20 seconds to hold off the Germans.