Milovanovic, Petrovic Deliver For Serbia

16 July 2008
Jelena Milovanovic and Sonja Petrovic refused to let Serbia lose, coming up with a number of big shots in Serbia's 61-57 victory over Latvia at the U20 European Championship for Women.

Milovanovic collected 23 points while Petrovic had 18 points, 13 rebounds and three foul shots in the final 15 seconds for the runners-up from last summer.

Jovica Antonic's Serbs improved to 3-1 in the Qualifying Round Group E and have excellent chances of reaching the semi-finals with one more contest against Turkey on Thursday.

Latvia dropped to 1-3 in the group and have lost all chances to compete for a medal despite another tremendous showing of 20 points and 18 rebounds by Sabine Niedola, who scored Latvia's first 12 points of the contest. Baiba Eglite scored 12 points in the losing cause.

Serbia jumped ahead 11-2 before Niedola brought Latvia to within 12-10 with her tenth points of the first quarter. The Serbs led 17-10 after one period.

The advantage grew to 22-12 on Irena Matovic's three-pointer. The Baltic nation trailed just 31-26 only to see Serbia lead 34-26 at the break.

Aivars Vinbergs's team shut down the Serb offence for nearly six minutes coming out of the locker-room, and Anete Steinberga's lay-up made it 36-34. Liene Neimane and Karline Nimane both knocked down three-pointers as Latvia cut the deficit to 41-40. And Serbia were up 45-42 going into the fourth.

Latvia would not go away and it was 50-49 after Kristine Vitola's lay-up with less than four minutes remaining. But Milovanovic answered with a three-pointer and Dragana Gobeljic followed as the lead was back to eight points - 58-50.

Niedola twice put back offensive rebounds, the second making it 58-54 with 37 seconds to play. Petrovic made one foul shot with 15 seconds left and then Vitola knocked down a three-ball to cut the deficit to just 59-57 with seven seconds to play.

Petrovic was fouled again with four seconds remaining and made both foul shots for the winning four-point margin.

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