U20 Women Group F
|Latvia had faced elimination but survived to set up a showdown with Italy tomorrow|
Latvia almost coughed up a 22-point lead but hung on to beat the Netherlands 67-58 in the qualifying round at the U20 European Championship Women.
Latvia had been dominating the Dutch for most of the game, and led 45-23 on a lay-up from Anete Kirsteine midway through the third quarter.
But the Netherlands responded with a 25-5 run to close the quarter, with Kourtney Treffers pouring in 13 during the spurt before Tessel van Dongen capped it with a three-pointer to make the score 50-48.
A Randell van der Lee jump-shot made it 52-50 early in the fourth quarter, but Latvia found some composure once more and a 6-0 run gave them breathing space.
The Dutch had lost their scoring touch and Latvia took advantage to edge clear, with Kristine Vitola and Sabine Niedola each splitting pairs of free throws to make it 62-53 with 2:52 to go.
Foul trouble for Treffers held the Dutch charge in check and Latvia held on.
Niedola led Latvia with 20 points and 13 rebounds while Vitola had 18 points and 18 rebounds.
Kirsteine also scored in double figures with 15 points.
Treffers led the Dutch with 15 points before fouling out late on, while Chatilla van Grinsven had 12.
The win was critical to keep Latvia alive as they have already lost to fellow Group F rivals Great Britain earlier in the tournament.