|16 July 2009|
By David Hein
Melih Mahmutoglu knocked down a three-pointer at the buzzer of overtime as Turkey slipped past Israel 76-75 in the first game in Group B of the U20 European Championship.
Mahmutoglu's game-winner came after Sean Daniel had put back an offensive rebound with two seconds remaining for a 75-73 lead for Israel, which blew an eight-point fourth quarter cushion.
Ibrahim Yildirim led Turkey with 12 points while Ilkan Karaman and Gokper Gen both scored 11 points; Can Ozcan had 10 and Mahmutoglu hit for nine points.
Anton Shoutvin topped all scorers with 19 points and Daniel poured in 14 points. Raviv Pitshon collected 11 points and 11 rebounds and Ben Reis had 11 points in a losing effort.
Neither team shot well from long range with Turkey hitting 7 of 31 (23%) and Israel going 2 of 19 (11%).
Israel jumped ahead 11-5 early but watched Turkey score six straight points before leading 15-14 after one period.
The Turks were up 22-19 when Shoutvin and Pitshon combined for 15 points in a 17-4 Israel run for a 36-26 advantage, which was 38-30 at the break.
Israel saw their lead shrink throughout the third period and the game was knotted at 55-55 going into the fourth quarter.
Yotam Shiran hit for a 66-58 cushion with less than five minutes but Ozcan and Yildirim knocked down three-balls as Turkey closed the fourth with a 10-2 run to make it 68-68 and send the game to overtime.
In the extra session, Karaman's three-point play gave Turkey a 75-68 lead. But Shoutvin scored two straight baskets and Daniel's put-back had Israeli fans thinking they would open the tournament with a win.
But Mahmutoglu was ready to answer with his long-range dagger.
Big Fourth Quarter Carries Lithuania
Donatas Motiejunas scored nine of his team-high 15 points in a key fourth quarter spurt as Lithuania survived a spirited fight by Montenegro 73-71 in their opening game of Group B play at the U20 European Championship.
Adas Juskevicius added 12 points while Mindaugas Kuzminskas and Zygimantas Janavicius combined for 17 points and 16 rebounds for Lithuania, who trailed by eight points in the fourth period.
Montenegro had a chance to tie the game with two seconds left but Filip Barovic missed two free throws, wasting an outstanding showing by Sead Sehovic, who collected 27 points, four rebounds, seven assists and three steals.
Nikola Vucevic had 16 points and 13 rebounds and Milos Savovic added 10 points.
Lithuania are even with Turkey at 1-0 in Group B while Montenegro fell to 0-1 like Israel.
The first half of the game in Ialysos saw Lithuania unable to pull away from Montenegro, who had five ties in the first quarter which ended with Lithuania ahead 15-13.
Montenegro grabbed their first led at 19-18 and were up by as many as three points before Lithuania went ahead 35-31 at the break.
The gap increased to nine points - 45-36 - and it was 53-46 before Montenegro started a comeback. Sehovic and Vucevic combined for 13 points in a 17-2 surge for a 63-55 Montenegro lead.
Motiejunas stepped up and scored four of Lithunia's next five baskets and Juskevicius's triple and two foul shots gave Lithuania a 71-69 advantage, completing a 16-6 run.
Vucevic evened the game with 35 seconds left but Sarunas Vasiliauskas made it 73-71 before Barovic's two misses.