Serbia & Montenegro Gets Past Slovenia In Overtime

20.07.2006

Nikola Dragovic scored 10 of his 14 points in overtime as Serbia & Montenegro beat Slovenia 85-78 to move into the semi-finals of the U-20 European Championship as Group E winners.

Milenko Tepic saved Miroslav Nikolic's Serbia & Montenegro side by hitting three free throws with three seconds remaining in regulation to force the extra session.

In the final five minutes, Dragovic took over as he hit two free throws, a lay-up and two crucial three-pointers. Dragovic also had two steals in overtime.

Slovenia couldn't handle the Serbian pressure as Emir Preldzic committed three of Slovenia's four turnovers in the final five minutes.

Preldzic tried his best to keep Miro Alilovic's squad in the game, leading all scorers with 32 points while adding seven rebounds, five assists and three steals.

Gasper Vidmar had 20 points and six rebounds, but Jaka Klobucar was held to just five points a night after he poured in 44 against Lithuania.

Boris Bakic paced Serbia & Montenegro with 23 points, and Ivan Paunic had 16 points and Ivan Maras chipped in 10. But the main weapon was Dragovic who scored 14 points, grabbed eight rebounds and had four assists and three steals.

The game was close for the first 16 minutes as Slovenia led 28-26 with 3:30 left in the first half. But Serbia & Montenegro went on a 15-0 run into the opening seconds of the second half to open a 41-28 advantage.

Slovenia answered with a 21-5 run of their own, spurred on by three three-pointers by Preldzic to take a 49-46 lead. 

The third quarter ended with Serbia & Montenegro ahead 53-49, and the game remained tight for the rest of regulation.

With the game tied 66-66 with 23 seconds left, Preldzic made one of two free throws and he hit both free throws with seven seconds left to give Slovenia a 69-66 lead.

But Klobucar fouled Tepic while taking a three-pointer with three seconds left, and Tepic calmly nailed all three free throws.


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