Spain Punish Serbia's Last Quarter Errors


Spain missed their fair share of free-throws throughout the game, but made enough of them down the stretch to beat Russia 65-60 at the U18 European Championship Men 2009, in Metz, France.

Heading into the final quarter, the Spaniards were a poor 10 for 22 from the foul line but they made nine of their last 14 attempts to improve to 3-1 in Group E.

"We missed a lot of free-throws today, too many even, but all that matters is that we made them when they really mattered," said Ignacio Llovet who scored seven of his 14 points in the final frame, including three of four attempts from the foul line.

Serbia led 35-30 after a back-and-forth first half, but were down by two, 46-44, by the end of the third quarter.

Llovet scored the first four points of the final frame to edge Spain further ahead, 50-44.

Serbia got within one, 55-54, when Dejan Musli - who was hampered by foul trouble and eventually fouled out - scored only his fourth and fifth points of the game with 3:13 left to play.

But turnovers and bad shot selection in the final quarter would cost Serbia this game. They gave the ball away six times and hit just two of their eight attempts from beyond the arc.

LLovet got the better of his matchup with Musli scoring a lay-up with two minutes to go for a 59-54 advantage.

Alberto Jodar then made his free-throws down the stretch to secure the win.

In the first half, Spain showed some of their usual fast brand of basketball to take a 17-9 advantage when Miguel Lorenzo caught a outlet pass for an easy dunk with 3:15 left in the opening period.

But Serbia played their opponents at their own game, getting out on the break and scoring easy baskets to turn an 18-14 first quarter deficit into a 30-25 lead with the half approaching.

Spain made only nine of their 18 free-throws in the first half and shot just nine for 31.

Jodar finished with 19 points and Llovet had 14 to go along with nine rebounds and four assists.

Nemanja Jaramaz was Serbia's high man with 11 points.

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