BASKETBALL: FIBA U20 Women’s European Championships hard-fought win sees ireland into quarters

by Aaron Dunne
0 comment

Ireland are through to the quarter-finals of the FIBA U20 Women’s European Championship, following a hard-fought 67-64 win over tournament hosts Romania on Sunday.

Hazel Finn exemplified the defensive determination amongst the team with 10 steals, to go along with her 18 points.

Sarah Hickey also shone with her all-round game, picking up nine rebounds, five points, four assists, three steals.

There were big performances from Lucy Coogan and Kara McCleane too, they had 14 points apiece and eight and four rebounds respectively.

Ireland built a 20-12 lead after the first quarter, but the next two were honours even, Karl Kilbride’s side maintaining their eight-point advantage going into the final quarter, 55-47. The home side rallied in the fourth quarter and took the lead 63-61 with 3’10 remaining, thanks to Anisia Croitoru’s three point jump shot.

Ireland were unfazed, a McCleane free-throw and Maria Kealy’s layup helped nudge them back in front, 64-63, with a little over a minute remaining. Three free throws from Finn down the stretch was enough to give Ireland a 67-64 win and with it a place in the last eight.

U20 women’s assistant head coach, Niamh Dwyer, said: “What a gutsy performance from the girls. When we needed to dig deep and do the hard work and the dirty work, we showed we can compete with anyone in this (tournament) and to get to a quarter-final with a victory like that is going to stand to us.”

Ireland won their opening game against Greece, 80-74, last Friday and their final Group B game is against Georgia on Wednesday at 11am. Victory over the Georgian’s will secure top spot in Group B, before Ireland’s quarter-final this Friday, where they will face opponents from Group A.

Ireland’s U-20 women’s team celebrate their win over over hosts Romania which saw them through to European quarter-finals

Related Articles