France Out-Defend Slovenia For First Win

10 July 2013

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Livio Jean-Charles (France)
Livio Jean-Charles stepped up in a big way for France with 18 points, 7 rebounds and 3 blocks in 33 minutes

France turned on the screws on defence in the fourth quarter and kept Slovenia to just 11 points in the period to secure a 61-53 victory, their first success after two games at the Sportland U20 European Championship in Tallinn.

The two teams are now tied with a 1-1 record in second place in Group D behind Italy, who have won both their games in the tournament so far.

On Wednesday, France took their first lead midway through the opening frame and, in a low-scoring affair that always looked like it would not be resolved until late, kept ahead of Slovenia until the half-time interval, 27-22.

When the two opponents returned from the locker rooms they both looked more prone to relaxing on defence and Slovenia were the big beneficiaries of this change, as they rallied and reclaimed the lead, 34-33, on a Gregor Hrovat free throw midway through the third period, twenty minutes after they were last in the driver's seat.

But France reacted before the Slovenians could extend their newly-found lead to more than three points and entered the final quarter with a 45-42 advantage.

Slovenia and France shared the first six points in the fourth, but when the French decided to shut down shop the Slovenians could not come up with solutions and Les Blues went on an 11-0 run that gave them a double-digit breathing space, 58-47, for the first time on the night with just 2:21 left to play.

France's Livio Jean-Charles made 9 of his 13 shots from the field to score 18 points and collected seven rebounds, Boris Dallo chipped in with 13 points while Mouhammadou Jaiteh was dominant on the glass and registered a double-double of 10 points and a game-high 12 boards.

Luka Rupnik was the only Slovenian to score in double digits and finished with 18 points, adding four assists.

 


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