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Kepenc Barrage Sends Turkey Through

06 August 2014
U16 WOMEN
10. Manolya Kurtulmus (Turkey)
Manolya Kurtulmus and her team-mates from Turkey were able to celebrate

Selale Kepenc caught fire in the fourth quarter to lead Turkey to the U16 European Championship Women quarter-finals with a 61-52 victory over Croatia.

Turning Point: Klaudija Dobroslavic hit a dramatic half-court buzzer-beater to tie the game at the end of the third quarter and Turkey wobbled, with Josipa Silov starting the fourth quarter strongly. Silov drained a three-pointer and then made a tough lay-up, but Kepenc answered with back-to-back three pointers, the second on a lovely cross-court pass from Manolya Kurtulmus in transition. Meltem Yildizhan joined the long-range party before Kepenc connected again to put Turkey eight points clear, and their defence held firm down the stretch to spark wild celebrations at the final buzzer.

Game Heroes: Kepenc has not had the tournament she would have liked so far, but she finally got it going at just the right time. She led the team with 16 points, going 4-8 from downtown despite only hitting one of 11 shots inside. Kurtulmus had 12 points and Inci Güclü struggled offensively but pulled down 14 rebounds. Silov had a double-double with 10 rebounds and a game-high 24 points, but she was trigger-happy from range, jacking up 17 shots from behind the arc.

Stats Don't Lie: Croatia had only four points from their bench, leaving too much work for the starting five.

They Said: "I have a perfect team, perfect players, I'm so proud of them. We showed the power of Turkish women's basketball today" - Turkey head coach Halil Demirbilek

Team Turkey advance to the quarter-finals

The Bottom Line: Turkey move on to a quarter-final date with top-seeded Czech Republic, who are unbeaten so far in the tournament. Croatia will face Portugal in classification action on Friday, with the winner securing their Division A status.

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