Latvia Thump Hungary, Stay Perfect
Latvia rode their incredible home-court advantage to another victory at the EuroBasket Women on Monday.
Taking on a determined Hungary, the Latvians got strong performances from the two-headed monster of Anete Jekabsone-Zogota and Zane Tamane and prevailed 76-59.
Because Latvia thrashed Poland on opening night, they are now 2-0 and headed to the Qualifying Round in Riga.
The Hungarians, beaten badly in their first encounter by Greece, must now win against Poland on Tuesday and then hope to advance on a tie-breaker against them.
They trailed by as many as 23 points but clawed the deficit to just 13 in the fourth quarter.
Hungary ultimately had no answer for Jekabsone-Zogota, who poured in 25 points, or Zane Tamane (20pts, 11rbs).
With the former hitting shots from all over the floor, including three of her five attempts from behind the arc, and Tamane wreaking havoc in the lane, Hungary's comeback fell short.
Whenever a team plays against Latvia, they will have to cope with the support of the Baltic nation.
"It's amazing to play at home," Latvia forward Liene Jansone said.
"I think our fans deserve this. They have been following us from Turkey (EuroBasket Women 2005) to Italy (EuroBasket Women 2007).
"Today's game we knew that Hungary had nothing to lose, it was the second game and the second day. We started kind of slow, got our rhythm back."
The Hungarians gave their coach Laszlo Ratgeber cause for hope that they will beat Poland.
They could very easily have caved in but fought until the end.
"If we play as a team like we did tonight and we make some more shots, then we have a chance," Ratgeber said.
Anna Vida was outstanding. She had 10 points and worked tirelessly on the boards which helped them in their comeback attempt.
She said that Hungary didn't feel the sense of urgency soon enough.
"We struggled in the first half and it was only after the break that we were able to react and hustle for the ball," Vida said.
"We had the same problem in our opening game."
Anna Vajda finished with 16 points for Hungary.