U20 Women Group A
|Snezana Colic stepped up for Serbia with 16 points and 6 assists in an important win over Germany|
Germany put a huge scare into Serbia before the hosts came through to win 82-68 and advance in the U20 European Championship Women.
Germany, without a win and fighting for their lives in Group A, had trailed 36-23 at half-time but a stunning fightback saw them take the game down to the final stages before Serbia pulled clear to stave off the threat of falling into the relegation round.
Germany stunned Serbia with a 12-0 run in the third quarter, capped by a Julia Gaudermann jump-shot, that brought them level at 43-43 and set up a thrilling final period.
When Emina Karic made a lay-up with a little over five minutes to go, Germany were again level at 62-62.
But that is when things began to fall apart for the Germans as Marina Markovic nailed a three-pointer and, after Finja Schaake was blocked at the other end, an easy lay-up for Tijana Ajdukovic made it 67-62.
Karic then missed a pair of free throws and Snezana Colic was able to make it 69-62 with a lay-up.
Germany began to look rushed on the offensive end, and Serbia took advantage as Ajdukovic's lay-up made it 71-62 with 2:42 left, and after another three from Markovic, the challenge finally faded.
Markovic finished with 17 points for Serbia while Colic had 16 and Nikolina Nikolic and Sara Krnjic added 12 each.
Sonja Greinacher led Germany with 23 points while Schaake had 13 and Svenja Brunckhorst had 10.
Serbia were playing without captain Tina Jovanovic, who suffered a potentially serious knee injury late in their 76-73 overtime defeat to Poland on Friday. Jovanovic has been ruled out of the rest of the tournament, but the team are awaiting further tests before commenting on how much more time she might miss.
Afterwards, coach Milkan Mrda dedicated the win to his absent skipper.
"After losing yesterday, this win means so much to the team," he said. "We had to win this game today, but we had good patches and bad. We won it for Tina and we will continue to play for her."