Turning Point: The Netherlands held Ukraine to just two points during the first seven minutes of the third quarter and it helped them to establish the cushion they needed to comfortably see the game out in the last period.
Game Hero: Marlou de Kleijn finished with 23 points and was the pick of a strong all-round team performance by the Dutch.
Stats Don't Lie: The Netherlands were dominant inside, scoring 32 points in the paint and also showed their extra depth and options available by getting 30 points from their bench. They also held Alina Iagupova to just four points during the second half.
|Marlou de Kleijn finished with personal tournament-high 23 points|
A sparkling 23-point performance by Marlou de Kleijn and a terrific third quarter propelled the Netherlands into the Semi-Finals of the U20 European Championship Women for the very first time as they overpowered Ukraine 71-63 in Debrecen.
It was an absolutely terrific win for the Dutch who took control after half-time having played their part in an intriguing up and down first couple of quarters, which saw both teams enjoy periods of superiority.
The Netherlands were slow out of the blocks and had to play catch up after Mariya Tkach scored a trey to put her team 10-2 ahead. And, despite ten points by the ever present danger of Alina Iagupova, the Dutch finally woke-up to hit back and establish a 19-17 lead.
The Netherlands then really put their foot on the accelerator with eleven points in a row to go 25-17 ahead but with Iagupova around, Ukraine was able to get within three points as the first half came to a close.
But the Ukrainian renaissance was ended in the locker room as they suffered an eye-watering drought when they returned to the court. In fact, it was to be the time when the game was won and lost since it enabled Netherlands to take a 59-46 advantage into the final ten minutes.
As hard as Ukraine pushed to retrieve the situation, and despite cutting the deficit to 68-61 with just under three minutes to play, the damage had already been done.
Fittingly, it was an 'and-one' play by De Kleijn with just over sixty seconds left which finally got the Dutch over the line.