Serbia Beat Slovakia To Finish 11th

10 August 2014
6. Marija Ilic (Serbia)
Marija Ilic did effective work in rebounding for Serbia

Marija Stojiljkovic scored the game-winner as Serbia claimed a 65-63 victory over Slovakia to end their return to U16 European Championship Women Division A in 11th place.

Turning Point: Slovakia held an eight-point lead at half-time but Serbia clawed their way back in a hard-fought third quarter, holding their opponents scoreless for the last three minutes of the period as Nevena Naumcev's lay-up reduced the deficit to three. Six unanswered points in the fourth quarter moved the Serbian team ahead, but Rebeka Mikulasikova got inside to tie the game with two minutes remaining in a tense finale. Stojiljkovic was able to beat her defender on a tough drive inside for the go-ahead bucket, and Nikola Kovacikova's last attempt fell short as Slovakia weren't able to reproduce the magic which had seen them take two previous matches in the tournament to overtime with late game-tying three-pointers.

Game Heroes: Nevena Vuckovic had a game-high 18 points and added seven rebounds for Serbia, while Stojiljkovic's game-winner was part of a 16-point tally for the match. Marija Ilic was fantastic on the boards again, hauling down 15 rebounds alongside seven points and four steals. Playmaker Ivana Katanic had five points, five rebounds and six assists, and Mina Djordjevic added four points, nine rebounds and three blocks. Julia Lelkes had a team-high 16 points for Slovakia, and Viktória Havranová added seven points, eight rebounds, seven steals and four assists.

Stats Don't Lie: Serbia had an 18-point advantage in the paint, while Slovakia got only four points from their reserves.

The Bottom Line: Both teams will be satisfied with top-12 finishes after opening with defeats and failing to qualify for the second round. Mikulasikova and Kovacikova appear to be solid talents from the 1999 generation around whom Slovakia can base their campaign in 2015, while Serbia ended with an overall record of five wins and four losses as their 1999 talents Naumcev, Katanic and Djordjevic picked up good experience for next year's tournament.


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