|07 July 2011|
U20 Women Group B
|Gabriela Cursaru and Romania refused to go away but a strong Turkey finish was too much for them|
Turkey held off a fightback from Romania to win their opening U20 European Championship Women game 69-52 in Group B.
Ozge Yavas scored 20 points and Pinor Demirok added 18 as Turkey started and finished strong.
"We knew this game was very important because it's always important to win at the beginning of a tournament," said coach Akkaya Aziz.
"We played very well at the end and it will be important to play like this in the next game."
They got off to a flying start as Romania struggled to deal with them defensively.
With just three minutes gone, Alexandra Florea picked up her third foul - and the second in the space of a matter of seconds - all against the center Esra Ural, who had kick-started Turkey's 11-4 spurt to open the game.
Romania cut the gap back to five, but Turkey were again quickly out of the blocks in the second quarter, and Ural's tip-in midway throgh the period made it 30-15.
Romania rallied, however, as Gabriela Cursaru's three-pointer got them going again, and they finished the half trailing by seven, 37-30 following a hook-shot and lay-up from Sonia Ursu.
Romania continued to chip away, with a long three from Cursaru making it 43-38 midway through the third quarter before Ursu's easy lay-up on the break sliced the gap to three.
It was a tense finish the third quarter with both teams missing plenty of shots with the pressure on, but a huge three from Gamze Takmaz gave Turkey a 51-44 edge before the buzzer.
They continued to edge clear in the fourth, with Yavas' three-pointer making it 56-46.
The advantage stretched to 12, 62-50, with Demirok's breakaway lay-up three minutes from time, and Romania could not muster another rally.
Takmaz added 12 points and Ural 11 for Turkey, while Cursura finished with 16 points for Romania.