France outmuscled Turkey 72-49 in the Quarter-Finals of the U20 European Championship Women 2009 in Gdynia, Poland.
Every time the Turks looked at the hoop they found at least one hand in their face. The smothering French defense forced them into one tough shot after another and just 29% for the game.
"We focus on playing good defense because that is our biggest weakness," said Marielle Amant, who scored 14 points to go with eight boards and two blocks.
"We have players who can shoot three-pointers, other who can score in the post, but we have to play defense as a team."
|Isis Arrondo and France are in the Semi-Finals|
France once again showed they have the most balanced attack in the tournament with four players in double figures.
Turkey hung tight during the opening minutes of the game but Melanie Plust (12 points) nailed a three-pointer and then seconds later made a lay-up off the fastbreak to put France up 19-10.
Turkey had a chance to get the lead down to six with under two to play before the half.
But they came up empty and France pushed their advantage out to 12 on a nice turnaround jumper by Ana Cata-Chitiga (nine rebounds) and a lay-up by Plust off a dime by Darline Sula Nsoki (three assists).
France shook Turkey late in the third by continuing to challenge every shot and get points from both inside and out.
Isis Arrondo (game-high 17 points) nailed a three-pointer from well behind the arc as the buzzer sounded to send her team into the fourth with their biggest lead of 23 points (57-36).
Durdane Gumusay did what she could for Turkey with 14 points and seven boards.
France plays Latvia tomorrow in the Semi-Final.
The two teams have already met once in the Qualifying Round. The French won that first encounter by the score of 74-65.
"The most important thing is to start strong playing good defense and stopping their best player," said Amant on the key to a second French victory.
"Then we have to keep our focus for forty minutes because in the first game we got ahead by 15-20 points but then they came back in the fourth.
"So this time we have to be sure to play till the very last second."