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Renewed Hope For Gospic After Win

30 November 2011
EUROLEAGUE WOMEN
Sandra Mandir (Gospic CO)
Sandra Mandir was sensational for Gospic CO once more, pulling down a career-high 13 rebounds to go with her 16 points

Gospic Croatia have struggled against most teams in the EuroLeague Women this season but not Rivas Ecopolis.

Riding a five-game winning streak after opening the campaign with two defeats, Rivas fell 67-52 at Gospic on Wednesday.

The result has left Rivas (5-3) in the thick of the play-off hunt while giving Gospic renewed hope that they can progress to the next round from Group C.

Stipe Bralic's side led from start to finish to improve to 3-5.

The squad's two Croatia national team stalwarts Sandra Mandir and Jelena Ivezic did much of the damage against Rivas, pouring in 16 and 15 points, respectively.

Guard Mandir also corralled a career-high 13 rebounds.

Julie McBride and Marija Vrsaljko had 13 points apiece for the winners.

The telling blows came in the first half.

With Rivas down 17-13, Ivezic connected from long range for the last points of the first quarter to give Gospic a seven-point advantage.

After Anna Cruz and Jelena Dubljevic scored in succession to cut the gap to 20-19, Vrsaljko hit back-to-back jumpers and Eva Komplet added two free-throws to push the advantage back to seven points.

Gospic then ended the first half with a flourish.

McBride hit a three-pointer and Mandir a jumper before McBride split a pair of free-throws for a 38-25 lead.

The lead twice hit 19 points in the third quarter for the home side and Rivas never posed a serious threat over the last 10 minutes.

Veteran center Asjha Jones led all scorers with 19 points but it wasn't enough for Rivas, who were out-rebounded 44-35.

Rivas also missed all 10 of their shots from long range while the Croatians hit 12 of 30.

Mandir and McBride each had four three-balls.

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