|Aleksandra Stanacev was the unexpected hero of the game for Serbia, as she exploded for 18 points, seven assists, four steals |
Serbia had a great second half and overwhelmed the Netherlands, 60-51, in their first game of the Qualifying Round at the Global Vision U18 European Championship Women.
The Netherlands led for the entire first half and entered the locker-room, at halftime, with an eight-point lead, 30-22. But after the break they saw the game slipping away from their hands.
The Serbians took the lead with 3:47 to go, 34-35, on a lay-up made by Natasa Kovacevic and, with one exception, never let it go until the end of the game.
Kovacevic scored 15 of her 21 points in the second half, and added 10 rebounds and three blocks to her stats.
She got all the help she needed from Aleksandra Stanacev, who surprised everybody with her excellent performance.
Coming into the game with an average of 3.0 points and 4.0 assists per game, she just exploded, finishing with 18 points, seven assists and four steals. She was hard to stop from beyond the arc, hitting four of her seven attempts.
Serbia's defense managed to shut down the opponent's best scorer, Loyce Betonvil, who had an off day. She finished with no points and had seven turnovers, which shadowed her nine rebounds.
Kourtney Treffers was the leading scorer for the Netherlands, with 14 points, in just 14 minutes spent on the court.
The Netherlands will meet their neighbors Belgium in the next encounter, while Serbia will have a tough clash against France.