Perfect Start for France in EuroBasket Women 2009 Qualifiers
While the Olympics are going on France are participating in the EuroBasket Women 2009 qualifiers.
France just do enough to beat Croatia
In the first match of their eight-match programme, France beat Croatia on the road (59-50).
In a tight game France went into the final quarter leading (41-40). They had to wait until the 39th minute when Endeme Miyem hit a pair of free-throws to give France a 4-point lead (57-53). Luca Ivankovic was to hit back almost immediately for the hosts.
France had the chance to wrap up the game after Emméline Ndongue was fouled. But she missed her free-throws. Croatia then had the chance to either tie the game or go in front but Ivankovic was blocked by Ndongue. With Céline Dumerc (left) hitting both her free throws moments later, France walked away with the victory (59-55).
Defence wins the day in second match for Pierre Vincent
In their second match France were playing at home and defeated the Slovak Republic (58-39).
France did not waste much time in getting into this match as Pauline Krawczyk fired a shot from down town. Soon France led (7-3). However they were slowed down by their opponents offensively who switched to zone.
France led (15-6) after the first period. Yet they were unable to advance during the second period and went into the interval ahead '(29-20).
France opened the third period with a 7-2 run and slowly increased their advantage (43-26). Thanks to back-to-back three-point shots by Manu Hermouet, France went into the final quarter with a 23-point cushion (49-26).
Slovak Republic managed to reduce the deficit below the 20-point mark. But France did pass the 20-point margin again (58-33) by the 37th minute.
They were not to score for the last three minutes and ran out winners (58-39).
France currently lead group C with two wins and will play Hungary next.