Latvia Hold Off Rallying Slovakia

09.07.2011

U20 Women Group D

Sabine Niedola (Latvia)
Sabine Niedola once again led Latvia with 9 points and 12 rebounds in a game with plenty of turnovers and poor shooting

Latvia picked up their first win of the U20 European Championship Women but were made to fight as Slovakia recovered from an incredible first quarter - in which they scored just one point - to take it to the wire.

Latvia ultimately prevailed 49-43 but only after seeing Slovakia close to within three, 41-38, with 1:25 to go on a pair of free throws by Sabina Oroszova.

A turnover by Anete Kirsteine the put the ball back in Slovakian hands but Martina Kissova missed her jump-shot and Latvia recovered to scored the next four points, giving them vital breathing space at 45-38 with 24 seconds to go.

Barbora Balintova's lay-up kept Slovakia alive and there was still hope when a three-pointer from Angelika Oravcova made it 47-43 with nine ticks left.

But they lost time trying to foul and a pair of free throws from Kirsteine made it 49-43 with five seconds left.

Barbora Balintova's three point attempt withtwo seconds to go was off target.

Had she made it, Slovakia would have advancedthanks to the tie breaker in a three team tie with Great Britain and Latvia.

Slovakia began the game horribly, missing their first 15 field goal attempts and scoring their only point of the first quarter when Dominika Baburova made the second of her two free throws with 1:22 left in the period.

Sabine Niedola led Latvia with nine points and 12 rebounds while Kirsteine had eight points and seven rebounds.

Their top scorer so far, Kristine Vitola, had seven points and eight rebounds before fouling ot in the fourth quarter.

Angelika Slamova and Oroszova led Slovakia with 10 points each.

The failure to keep the push going at the end proved costly for Slovakia, who finished bottom of Group D.


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