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Germany Eye Promotion After Gritty Win

09.07.2014
U20 WOMEN DIV. B
7. Iva Kostova (Bulgaria)
Iva Kostova's great effort could not save hosts Bulgaria against Germany

Elisabeth Dzirma's clutch bucket in the final seconds lifted Germany to a 69-66 victory over hosts Bulgaria in the U20 European Championship Women Division B in Sofia.

Iva Kostova's 23 points and Borislava Hristova's 15 points and eight rebounds had spurred a fantastic effort from the home team, who dropped their second successive match. The race for the three promotion spots is tight with four games remaining, and Tzanko Tzankov's team likely can't afford any further slip-ups.

On the other side, German coach Aleksandra Kojic has seen her team reel off five straight wins to take a firm grip on top spot. Their dominance on the glass was key in a tense encounter, with Noémie Rouault grabbing 14 rebounds to add to 16 points.

Rouault's partners on the front line, Marie Gülich (11 points, 10 rebounds) and Ama Degbeon (12 points, eight rebounds), helped the German team to wreak havoc and survive Bulgaria's late push.

Hristova's shot tied the match with 59 seconds remaining, before Dzirma's tough drive ended in a three-point play, with Kostova's final effort blocked by Rouault to seal victory.

Hungary handed Lithuania their first loss of the competition, 68-44, to leapfrog their opponents into second place in the standings. Amadea Szamosi scored an impressive 20 points, and Fanni Szabo led a strong defensive effort, forcing five steals herself as the Lithuanian team couldn't cope with Hungary's pressure.

Szamosi had 10 points in the first quarter alone, as Hungary got off to a fast start which saw the lead swell to 20 in the second period. Ricardas Maceina tried to rally his troops, but their shots wouldn't fall in the third quarter as their unbeaten record faded away.

Maceina will be eager to regroup and not lose the momentum of earlier successes, with Lithuania facing Germany next on Wednesday. Roberta Mizgeryte led the team with nine points.

Portugal had looked well placed to join Hungary and Lithuania on a 4-1 record, but Whitney Allen drained a crucial shot with three seconds left as Great Britain finally won a close game, 58-57.

The British team had been left reeling by three successive tough losses, and Laura Ferreira's bucket with one minute remaining raised fears of another heartbreaking defeat, before Allen's heroics.

Great Britain were reliant on Cheridene Green, who led a tough rebounding effort from the squad in cleaning up the glass. Green's double-double of 10 points and 10 rebounds was complemented by Janice Monakana's 14 points. Chelsea Guimaraes grabbed 13 boards for Portugal, but she didn't receive much help from her teammates, who were led by Ines Viana's 12 points.

Bosnia and Herzegovina's impressive offence clicked into gear as they trounced winless Norway, 94-47, to rise to fourth place in the standings. Marica Gajic was outstanding again, racking up 21 points, six assists and four rebounds, while Andela Delic added 18 points and Miljana Dzombeta had 10 points and seven assists.

A 32-point second quarter blew the contest open for Bosnia and Herzegovina, who shot 61 percent from the field for the game, including 12-21 from long distance. Signe Kyrkjebo's 11 points led Norway, who will seek their first win on Wednesday against Romania.

The Romanian team also remain without a win, as Dror Myburgh's 22 points and May Dayan's nine assists led Israel to a comfortable 89-57 victory.

Romania did well to recover from conceding the first 10 points of the contest, but a 34-7 run straddling half-time put Israel well on the way to their first win of the competition. Alexandra Dumitrache was Romania's stand-out player, ending with 12 points, eight rebounds and seven assists.

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