Latvia Claim 7th Place

11 August 2013

U16 WOMEN

8. Digna Strautmane (Latvia)
Digna Strautmane finished as Latvia's top scorer and top rebounder

Turning Point: Croatia looked to recover from a poor first half, but Kristiana Rikveile drained two consecutive three-pointers early in the third quarter to push the lead to 17.

Game Hero: Digna Strautmane has been one of the championship's outstanding players, and her 23 points and 15 rebounds were too much for Croatia to deal with.

Stats Don't Lie: The Latvian defense restricted Croatia to just 27.1% shooting (16-59) to ensure victory.

Latvia completed an impressive tournament by taking 7th place with a 62-53 win over Croatia in classification action at the U16 European Championship Women.

Digna Strautmane opened the scoring and then delivered a nice pass for Kristiana Rikveile to convert. Laura Grabe's three-pointer gave Latvia an early 7-2 lead, before Croatia's offense began to click, Ivana Dojkic and Iva Slonjsak converting on nice drives and Dojkic intercepting a pass and converting on the other end to tie the game.

Latvia pulled clear at the start of the second quarter, Digna Strautmane stepping outside to knock down a three-pointer. Dojkic responded by converting a three-point play on a tough drive, but Latvia's strong defense was restricting Croatia's ability to generate easy looks.

Annija Einere recovered a loose ball and drained a jump-shot to put Latvia nine clear and Paula Strautmane connected from outside as the lead grew to 14 before Slonjsak's three-pointer at the end of the first half.

Any hopes Croatia had of recovering in the second half were destroyed as Rikveile connected twice from long-range and then hit a baseline jumper, while the Croatian offense was held to just six points in the first nine minutes of the half behind a series of missed shots.

Croatia's confidence had clearly gone, and Amanda Betlere grabbed a steal and took it all the way for a lay-up before Digna Strautmane hit a jump-shot from the elbow as the lead grew to 19. Slonjsak kept pushing in the fourth quarter, but the lead only fell into single-digits in the final minute and Latvia celebrated their best championship finish since 2007.

Digna Strautmane ended with her fifth double-double of the tournament (23 points, 15 rebounds) and older sister Paula added nine points and 11 boards before fouling out. Rikveile finished with 13 points and four steals. Slonjsak was Croatia's lone bright spot, finishing with 24 points and eight rebounds.


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