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Latvia Hold Off Hosts To Take 5th

10 August 2014
U16 WOMEN
14. Luize Septe (Latvia)
Luize Septe's scoring helped Latvia versus Hungary

In a thrilling finale, Latvia survived to pip the home team Hungary with a 62-56 victory that secured 5th place at the U16 European Championship Women in Debrecen.

Turning Point: The match was tense throughout, but Latvia inched ahead as Hungary were held to just one made free throw in the last three minutes of the third period. The lead stretched to eight before Réka Lelik led her team back with a strong drive to the basket that led to a three-point play, and Ágnes Studer picked Maija Gertsone's pocket in the backcourt to reduce the lead to two. But Aleksa Gulbe, the youngest member of the Latvia squad, stepped up at the crucial time as she nailed a jumper from the top of the key to extend the advantage, and the Latvian defence held firm down the stretch.

Game Heroes: Sabine Lipe and Digna Strautmane scrapped hard for Latvia inside, both ending with double-doubles. Lipe tied Luize Septe for a game-high 14 points and added 15 rebounds, three assists and three steals. Strautmane had 13 points, 11 boards and four blocks. Lelik led Hungary with 11 points.

Stats Don't Lie: Latvia shot the ball better, and Hungary gave up 22 turnovers which Latvia were able to convert into 20 points on the other end, a crucial advantage in a tight encounter.

The Bottom Line: Both of these teams will be proud of their efforts, and they contain a number of young players who should grow as a result of the experience and be significant contributors in the 2015 tournament, with Lipe, Septe and Lelik prominent among them.

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