Italy Slips Into Qualifying Round, Ukraine Stay Hot

01.07.2007

Cindy Garcia-Bennett, Novi Sad

Germany beat Italy 70-65 but it wasn’t sufficient to see them through to the last 16.

Having failed to win their previous two games, the Germans need to beat the Azzurre by a seven point margin to make it to the qualifying round but despite their efforts, it was not to be as the Italians instead took third in the group and advanced.

Stina Barnert had a game-high 19 points for Germany, who stormed out to a 20-9 run and led 30-17 midway through the second quarter.

With the Germans having gone into the break with a 39-25 lead, an Italian recovery didn’t look likely.

But Italy went on a 14-1 run midway through the fourth quarter to get back on the game at 62-59.

Giuliana Gatti made two free throws to cut the deficit to 67-65 with 14 seconds on the clock.

But Martina Crippa fouled out after contact with Barnert on a three-point attempt with seven seconds on the clock.

Barnert made all three free throws.

Germany then had a chance of getting to the magical seven-point lead as Giulia Gatti, Italy's top scorer, turned the ball over with three seconds left.

But the Germans were unable to get off a shot against the tough Italian defense.

Earlier on Sunday, an awe-inspiring performance from Olesya Maleshenko allowed Ukraine to remain undefeated with a 79-69 victory over Turkey - a result that catapulted the eastern European team into the qualifying round as winners of Group D.

Maleshenko, a center, had a game-high 22 points and 20 rebounds to give her team their third win in a row.

Ukraine went into the break with a 40-31 lead but they were made to sweat as Turkey never lost hope.

Turkey forward Bahar Yapar's layup reduced the deficit to 71-64 with less than four minutes remaining but the Ukrainians held on for the win.

Ukraine outrebounded Turkey 66-48 in the game.

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