Bigica's Buzzer-Beater Wins It For Romania

08 August 2010

Cristina Bigica's buzzer-beater gave hosts Romania victory over the Netherlands in the final of the U18 European Championship for Women Division B in Timisoara.

Romania came from behind in the final three minutes to clinch a 63-61 victory in dramatic fashion.

Mariou de Kleijn's put-back gave the Netherlands a 57-53 lead with 3:03 to go, but Oana Baluta nailed a three-pointer to get Romania back in it.

They then took the lead on Gabriela Cursaru's lay-up, but the Dutch struck back from the free-throw line as Zera Butter made a pair.

Baluta's three-pointer gave Romania a two-point lead, 61-59, with 33 seconds left, but it was not over yet as De Kleijn tied it up again from the charity stripe.

It was left to Bigica to find the basket at the death with a lay-up that gave the Netherlands no time to respond.

Cursaru led Romania with 21 points while Bigica had 16.

De Kleijn came up with 18 points for the Dutch.

Bigica, Cursaru and Butter all earned places on the tournament's All-Star team along with Belarus' Maryia Filonchyk and England's Temitope Fagbenle.

However, the tournament MVP award went to Greece's Artemis Spanou, who played a big role as they came back from an eight-point half-time deficit to top Belarus 52-48 and claim bronze.

Belarus were up 27-19 at the break and still led as the game moved into the final quarter, but Greece used a 9-2 run sparked by Anthoula Chatzigiakoumi's three-pointer to take a decisive 52-45 lead with 1:48 to go.

Chatzigiakoumi came up with 25 points for Greece, while 17 points and 15 rebounds from Filonchyk were in vain for Belarus.

Spanou had nine points and nine rebounds in the win.

Croatia used 15 points from Nina Premasunac to rout Denmark 78-48 and claim fifth place.

However, Denmark could celebrate something as they collected the Fair Play Trophy.

Finland stormed back from a seven-point deficit to easily see off England 62-53 for seventh place behind 17 points from Rita Haukkovaara.

Fagbenle had 10 points and seven rebounds for England.

Sonja Greinacher had 22 points and 11 rebounds to lead Germany to ninth place with a 69-55 win over Montenegro.

Portugal sealed 11th place by beating Israel 78-71, while Estonia edged out Switzerland 38-36 in a defensive battle for 13th.

Bulgaria beat Bosnia & Herzegovina 75-68 for 15th, while Luxembourg took 17th place with a 50-34 win over Scotland.

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