|Carla Bellscheidt and Germany started strong before fighting off a Lithuanian second-half revival|
Germany opened the action in Group D of U20 European Championship Women with a thrilling 86-85 win over Lithuania on Thursday in Samsun, Turkey.
Producing turnovers and fast breaks, Germany separated themselves early and held a 60-40 advantage in the third quarter. However, with successful zone defence and Laura Zelnyte leading the way, Lithuania stormed back, going in front 73-72 in the fourth quarter. As the game went down to the wire, Germany used three-pointers from Carla Bellscheidt and Anna Heise to regain the lead and eventually preserve it after Simona Dobrovolskyte missed a potential game-winning triple.
Germany won the turnover battle 19-16, but in an all-important opening day victory had 15 steals, that led to 21 points, compared to Lithuania's five.
Elisabeth Dzirma led in victory getting a team-high 17 points, 12 rebounds, six assists and five steals. Heise finished with 16 points, and Laura Hebecker contributed with 11. For Lithuania, Zelnyte had 18 points and 10 rebounds.