Germany Shut Out Italy To Secure Last-8 Spot


Germany pulled-off a miracle 77-56 win over Italy to advance to Quarter-Finals of the U20 European Championship Women 2009, in Gdynia, Poland. 

Germany knew going in that they had an uphill battle to climb needing to beat Italy by seven points to advance.

And when Sabrina Cinili (tied for game-high 17 points) hit a jumper to give Italy a three-point lead (51-48) with a little over nine minutes to play, that hill was looking pretty steep indeed.

But Germany had one of those magical runs when they couldn't miss a shot and Italy couldn't buy a bucket.  They outscored Italy 26-0 over the game's final six minutes to do the impossible.

Germany were led by Svenja Greunke's 17 points and eight boards while Julia Trogele and Stina Barnert each added 13.

"At this point everyone is tired so we just have to keep working hard," said Trogele on her team's physical readiness for the Quarter-Finals.

"We have a day off tomorrow.  We will put our feet up, relax, and get ready to play whoever's next."

The Germans got out to an early 8-2 lead on four points a piece from its two inside players, Trogele and Greunke, but Italy came back and tied it on a three-pointer by Nausicaa Fassina (8 points) at the five-minute mark. 

Italy went on to close the first quarter up 21-17. 

Germany outscored Italy 9-0 in the first three minutes of the second to claim a 26-21 lead.  The two teams then grappled for the rest of the quarter where points came at a premium. 

Cinili evened the score at 28-all on a free throw with two minutes to play, but four points from Barnert gave her Germany a 33-28 lead at the break.

Germany led by as many as ten points in the third but Italy cut the lead to just one going into the final quarter.

Head coach Julia Gajewski has some preferences for a Quarter-Final match-up.

"Of course a smaller team fits better."

"You can tell we can play basketball, but if they are too tall it is really hard for us, so I like a small team," she said, then adding with a laugh, "but there are no small teams!" 

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