Finns Shoot Down Georgia, Keep The Hope

10.09.2011

EUROBASKET 2011

Turning Point: Georgia fought hard despite key absences. However, once they were outscored 19-6 either side of the third quarter break as Finland made a flurry of threes, they never looked like having the firepower needed to get back into it.

Game Heroes: Kimmo Muurinen was excellent. In addition to his trademark work ethic and doing the dirty work off the ball, he claimed 11 points, 9 rebounds and never turned the ball over.

Stats Don't Lie: In addition to their thirteen triples, Finland pulled down a healthy 17 offensive rebounds.



Finland claimed their first success in Round 2 off the back of a red-hot performance from the perimeter to see off Georgia.

Weakened by the loss of both Zaza Pachulia and George Tsintsadze, Finland took full advantage to claim an 87-73 win and retain an outside shot of still making it to Kaunas.

Finland lit it up from outside during an entertaining opening. They streaked into a seven-point lead at 18-11 shortly before the first quarter break, after hitting four of their first five attempts from three-point range.

Georgia responded well, they posted a nice 10-4 scoring burst to get within a point early in the second quarter. Things got even better when a fast break score by Tornike Shengelia brought the teams level at 30-30.

With Finland re-establishing a narrow 36-33 lead heading to the locker rooms, Georgia knew they had to improve their perimeter game. Six missed foul shots and a lack of scoring other than from Viktor Sanikidze and Giorgi Shermadini were further reasons for concern.

It was a different story altogether for the Finns who were all contributing. When Teemu Rannikko drilled home a three-pointer to extend the lead to 46-37, he became the tenth scorer for his team with everyone tasting court-time claiming a score.

Despite this, Georgia continued to hang tough and didn't look like they would allow Finland to streak away after they claimed 9 of the next 11 points.

However this was to prove a false dawn as the Finns subsequently found their range to finish the third quarter with a real flourish. Mikko Koivisto and Ranniko both dropping triples as Finland opened up a healthy 61-52 lead.

When Kimmo Muurinen and Shawn Huff nailed back to back downtown scores at the start of the final period, it was always going to be a long way back for Georgia who unlike their previous game against F.Y.R. of Macedonia, weren't able to muster a fight-back to make the Finns sweat.


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