EuroBasket Women quarter-final part 2
France got past Greece
Russia needed overtime to beat Latvia

Greek players goto the supporter after losing to France ©

The two places for the final in the 2009 EuroBasket Women have been taken by France and Russia

France came from behind to win the game with a three-pointer by Florence Lepron against Greece (51-49).

Sandrine Gruda led the French attack with 16 points while Cathy Melain provided 5 assists.

Russia required overtime to beat Latvia in front of a EuroBasket Women record of 8713 people (69-64).

You can read more about the games of interest by clicking on the following links or scrolling down the page:

France 51-49 Greece

Russia 69-64 Latvia

France holding off Greece to stay unbeaten at EuroBasket Women

France Greece at EuroBasket 2009;

Sandrine Gruda from France was the first to score with a back-turn jump shot after only 16 seconds. Greece required 90 seconds to get off the mark with Aikaterina Sotiriou's baseline jumper. Both teams quickly organised themselves and the cat and mouse game started. Cathy Melain sneaked through behind the defense to score for France. So did Emméline Ndongue for her first points of the game. However Evanthia Maltsi was fouled by Emilie Gomis while attempting a three-point shot. Maltsi scored all three free-throws and France's advantage was cut (6-5) with five minutes played. Greece defended well and kept France from scoring. With three minutes remaining Pelagia Papamichail put Greece briefly in the lead. Pierre Vincent, the head coach from France, made some tactical changes which saw Florence Lepron and Isabelle Yacoubou-Dehoui open their accounts for France to lead (10-7) at the end of the first period. Both teams continued to play well defensively making scoring difficult inside the paint. Greece eventually find a solution from outside and hit back to back three-pointers from Styliani Kaltsidou and Dimitra Kalentzou to tie the game and take the lead (15-12).  France against Greece at EuroBasket quarter final © womensbasketball-in-france.comPierre Vincent called for a time-out immediately and made some changes. Melain scored in the paint with her ball going round the rim before dropping in. Konstantinos Missas, the Greek coach, decided to call for a time-out. But it appeared that France profited from it. Through Melain Anaël Lardy found space to score. Seconds later after a Gruda miss Yacoubou-Dehoui picked up the offensive rebound to score (18-15). France's domination did not last as Greece came back with Papamichail and Maltsi to shortly regain the lead before Ndongue put France back in front. France's chance of increasing their advance was taken away as Lardy was adjudged to have travelled when she concluding a fast break. Yet the cat and mouse game continued and Greece took the lead back from the free-throw line. However it was France who went into the interval leading (22-21) as Ndongue picked up a defensive rebound off a Melain shot to score on the buzzer. The first four minutes of the third quarter were rather technical with players having little space to work from. Ndongue was doing her best defensively for France. The Greek’s ability though to hit from beyond the arc enabled them to regain the lead (30-29) with just over four minutes played. Finally the game went up a pace. Elodie Godin from France, who did not play against Russia, started with some aggressive play and back to back scores. Kaltsidou from Greece hit a difficult in-your-face jump shot while Gruda finished the flourish with a jump shot from outside for France to lead (37-34) at the end of the quarter. Kaltsidou got the final quarter started in a dramatic fashion. She drove to the basket and took the the full force of Godin knocking her to the ground but scored and drew the foul. She then took the free-throw to tie the game. Seconds later Greece regained the lead with a Maltsi three-pointer. France started to commit fouls and Dumerc returned to the bench after receiving her third foul. France scored through Gruda. But Lepron was not paying attention and Maltsi took the ball away from her at mid-court to score to keep Greece in the lead (42-39). Maltsi was then on fire and scored her 16th point of the game. In the meantime Dumerc was back on for France.  Sandrine Gruda from France against Greece at EuroBasket quarter final © Gruda and Maltsi were doing all the scoring as Greece held on to the advantage (46-43) with 2:44 to play in the final period. France were on the back foot when Dumerc hit a trey with 1:52 to play. Greece raced to the other end but were stopped from scoring by some solid defending by France. France took their time in the next attack. Then Melain sent a pass to Lepron on the wing who then hit a trey for France (51-49) which turned out to be the game winning shot. The last 1:14 minutes were full of typical end-of-game drama. However neither side was able to score again leaving France with the win.

EuroBasket Women 2009 Box Scores.

EuroBasket Women 2009 audio after match comments Anaël Lardy at EuroBasket Women 2009 © womensbasketball-in-france Anaël Lardy said it felt great and at last they had got past the quarter-final of EuroBasket Women, something that had not been done in a while. This was the match to win and the team was under a lot of pressure. It was a tough match and it was difficult to control but the match was won in the end.

Emméline Ndongue in Riga Latvia for EuroBasket WOmen 2009 ©womensbasketball-in-france

Emméline Ndongue was very emotional after the game and explained that they fought hard for 40 minutes without letting go. The players were never in doubt and once again the game was taken to the wire.

She said that the team qualified for the semi-final of EuroBasket Women and also qualified for the 2010 FIBA World Championship for Women so they have nothing else to lose for the rest of the competition.

Emmanuelle Hermouetat EuroBasket Women 2009 © womensbasketball-in-france

Emmanuelle Hermouet, who hurt her little finger on her left hand earlier in the EuroBasket Women tournament, is very happy to be playing with this squad and is also happy to be living this adventure with them.

Laurent Buffard is working as a television analyst for Sport + during this EuroBasket Women.

He explained after the match, from an analytical view, about the performance of France in this match.

He said that the match became difficult because of the high number of turnovers (23 in total) and that the match was won in the last minute.

However by winning the match by 2 points the team have qualified for the FIBA World Championship and also the semi-final of the current European Championship.

He added that if France continued to play like in this match they would struggle for the rest of the competition.

Belarus, the next opponents would not be easy as already witnessed in the first meeting between the two teams.

He concluded that if France played much better than today, they had a very good chance of beating Belarus and qualifying for the final.

Pierre Vincent, the head coach of France, came up with a simple system. He believed they won the match by changing everything they had done before.

The team became more defensive, worked the inside more and created space for the shooters.

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Russia needed overtime to eliminate Latvia

Russian and Latvian players after the match ©

Becky Hammon opened the scoring with a solo slalom into the paint to score. She then provided a pass for Maria Stepanova to score (4-0). Gunta Basko fired in the first points for Latvia. But a trey by Svetlana Abrosimova kept the Russians in control. Anete Jekabsone-Zogota’s first three shots failed to drop but she got herself on the score-sheet with a lay-up with five minutes played. However back to back scores from Abrosimova allowed Russia to hold on to the advantage (14-7). Jekabsone-Zogota and Ilona Korstin at EuroBasket Women © womensbasketball-in-france The last three minutes belonged to Jekabsone-Zogota as she scored all the points which included a period buzzer lay-up for her team to lead (15-14) at the end of the quarter. Stepanova became the main focus of attack at the start of the second period as Russian opened up a little lead (20-15). Latvia started to battle for every ball and also to win defensive rebounds and the battles at the offensive end with Liene Jansone scoring on two occasions. Latvia continued to press and took the lead (22-20) as Dita Krumberga hit a trey. Latvia then double-teamed Hammon who was left alone and pushed back into her own half. She was not too happy and the Russian coaching staff called a time-out. Russia were unable to get things going and were hit with a 24-second violation. Latvia took full advantage as Kristine Karklina reverse spun in the paint to score 2 more points. Russia put an end to the the 0-11 run with Stepanova at the end of a fast break. Yet Latvia were not unsettled and went into the interval leading (30-26). Latvia started to become even more aggressive and kept Russia scoreless for three minutes while scoring just once through Gunta Basko (32-26). Yet Russia finally found their way to the basket through Irina Osipova. Russian and Latvian players after the match © womensbasketball-in-france.comThey then started to move the ball around. With Ilona Korstin leading the way they scored 6 quick points to regain the lead (33-32). Russia kept on the pressure and with Latvia committing so many fouls, they were able to increase their lead from the free-throw line. However the pendulum swung back in favour of the hosts with Jekabsone-Zogota scoring and drawing a foul by winning her own offensive rebound. This was quickly followed by Krumberga catching Abrosimova off guard on mid-court to steal the ball. She then ran off to score to bring both teams level score again (37-37). Stepanova found herself at the charity stripe once again for Russia as her side led (39-37) going into the final quarter. Jekabsone-Zogota scored again to start the final quarter to bring the teams level once more. Jansone then gave the home fans something to cheer about as she hit her only trey of the evening as the lead changed hands again in favour of the hosts (42-41). Jansone was to score again by splitting a pair of free-throws. But Russia wrestled their way back into the lead through Osipova (46-45) with five minutes left to play. Korstin received a heavy but accidental blow from Aija Brumermane that left her winded. Unfortunately this incident cancelled out the basket scored by Jekabsone-Zogota. The Latvian coach used this opportunity to call for a time-out Korstin, who appeared to be enjoying herself on the court, scored difficult baskets in the paint on two occasions for Russia to regain the advantage once again (50-45) with 2 ½ left to play. Latvia came storming back with Basko and Zane Tamane (49-50) with just over one minute left to play. Tamane scored again for Latvia and Stepanova hit back for Russia. The Russian coaching staff called a time-out with 25.9 seconds remaining in the game (52-51). On resumption Jansone immediately fouled Stepanova who missed the free-throws. Latvia had the chance to regain the lead. Basko did all the hard work cutting into the land before firing a pass out to Karklina who then missed the target. Korstin was fouled and then split the pair of free-throws. The Latvian coach had called a time-out and had four seconds to save the game. The ball fell to Basko and she went for the lay-up and scored for overtime (53-53). Both sides continued their battle and were still level (57-57) with two minutes of overtime played. Russian and Latvian players after the match © womensbasketball-in-france.comLatvia had the chance to regain the lead but Tamane was called for travelling and on the resulting attack, Hammon fired in a trey for Russia. Osipova then scored 2 points from the free-throw line to make it a 5-point game in favour of Russia. Latvia's hopes were kept alive as Basko hit a three-pointer but Hammon replied for Russia with a two-point jump shot. Basko was to go coast to coast on two occasions but Russia remained perfect from the charity stripes. With eight seconds remaining and Latvia trailing by 3 points the ball was again in the hands of Basko. She attempted a three-point shot but missed and the chance was gone. Stepanova added 2 more points from the free-throw line. So Russia continue in the EuroBasket Women competition with a (69-64) victory.

EuroBasket Women 2009 Box Scores.

EuroBasket Women 2009 audio after match comments Becky Hammon at EuroBasket Women 2009 © womensbasketball-in-france Becky Hammon explained that the EuroBasket Women quarter-final match with Latvia was a good learning experience for her concerning this competition. She went on to say that they (Russia) could have quit in the game as it was an up and down. However they did not and they stuck to their task to win against the hosts. She added that she was a little cold at the start of the match concerning her shooting. However she said if you kept at it the ball would eventually drop.

Ilona Korstin ©

Ilona Korstin explained it was really a life and death battle and Russia coming out of the game alive.

Her team were still playing for the EuroBasket Women's title.

She also said that she was proud of her team-mates for this match and that if they continued to play in the same way she believed that they would win the remaining matches.

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Belarus and Spain qualify for semi-final

France beat Russia. Belarus and Italy are in quarter-final

Spain down hosts, while Greece qualify for quarter-final

Belarus keep hope alive while Russia win again

Spain are the only team undefeated in Group E

France stay on track in beating Turkey (55-43)

Russia in quarter-final

France taken to the wire against Lithuania (57-55)

Spain and Latvia in quarter-final

France beat Israel (73-70) to end first phase unbeaten

Four teams go home

France need overtime to beat Belarus (63-61)

Five teams qualify for the next phase

France beat Italy (76-61)

EuroBasket Women news from day 1

Return from EuroBasket Women 2009 finals to "What's New" page

Return to Senior International Basketball

EuroBasket Women 2009 pictures credits :

Date: 18 June 2009

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