|Maryia Papova was the star for Belarus, producing an 18-point, 14-rebound double-double in their shock upset victory over France|
Turning Point: Helped by three-pointers from Ksenija Voishal and Natallia Baklaha, Belarus bridged the third and fourth quarter with a 10-0 run to take the lead for good.
Game Hero: After getting her team going early by scoring 10 of their first 14 points, Maryia Papova shined in the final 35 seconds, sinking key free throws and blocking Sarah Ousfar's attempt, to seal the victory.
Stats Don't Lie: Belarus overcame a 51-33 rebounding deficit with their stingy defence that forced 23 turnovers.
Belarus held off France 64-56 to pull off a big upset and move on to the semi-finals at the U20 European Championship Women in Samsun.
Belarus will now play Italy on Saturday for a place in the title game.
An upset was in the making from the opening tip-off, as Belarus came into the game determined to play tough defence, while showing great amounts of patience and a great shot-selection on offence.
Other than a brief period in the third quarter, Belarus led for essentially the entire game, overcoming France's 22 offensive boards.
The Belarus opened the game by forcing the ball inside to Papova who scored 10 points in the first quarter. That opened room for their perimeter shooters, and Belarus hit three of their first four attempts behind the arc. Two of those came from Darya Lipinskaya who gave Belarus a 24-11 lead.
France had to turn to their defence, using a half-court press to get Belarus out of their rhythm, but they continued to struggle to find their offence, committing 12 first-half turnovers against a very good Belarus defence. The lead grew to 14 points before France converted on some of their offensive rebounding to cut it to 32-22 at halftime.
However, France opened the second half with a quick 8-0 run to erase the deficit, and took a 38-36 lead on a Christelle Diallo bucket midway through the quarter. But Belarus did not falter, and with triples from Ksenija Voishal and Natallia Baklaha, they end the third and began the fourth quarter on a 14-2 run, going up 56-47 with less than seven minutes to go.
Diallo cut the deficit with six straight points, but Kalenta's put-back made it 60-53, and Papova sealed the deal in the final minute for a huge Belarus celebration after the final buzzer.
Papova finished the game with 18 points, 14 rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks. Lipinskaya netted 17 for Belarus, while Kalenta added nine.
Diallo finished with 14 points and eight rebounds for France, while Sabrine Bouzenna scored 10.