Heartbreak Hotel
Orli Klinger, Latvia ,06/09/2009
A literally painful loss ended a painful Eurobasket Campaign for Israel, after a 70 – 73 loss to medal-hopeful France. In a thrilling game with many lead changes, Israel tied it at 68 with two minutes left. A battle for a loose ball turned into a questionable flagrant foul call against Selwyn, Dumerc hit from the line and Israel's final shots refused to fall.

France 73 – Israel 70
A rare performance by Liron Cohen with 30 points on 6 or 6 from downtown, along with a lot of will and fighting spirit by everyone on the team, nearly produced a prestigious win over France. The French coach did use a wide rotation as the game didn't matter to them, but kept his stars on the court in the critical moments. Israel was very close but didn't get any help from the officials to put it lightly, as the extremely physical French squad ended the game with 10 team fouls. The biggest call was the flagrant foul on Selwyn at the end which put France in control and didn’t allow Israel to finish the tournament on a winning note.

Two of Israel's main MIAs in the scoring column in the previous games, Liron Cohen & Laine Selwyn, combined for 26 first half points with very few misses. The French coach played all 12 players for 5 minutes each at least in the first half. Israel made 6 of 9 threes, including 4 for 4 by Cohen, and still managed to get just a 39 – 36 lead. In the 2nd half the game remained close and Israel came up short in a dramatic finish.

A few questionable calls sent France to the line and they didn’t miss, including Celine Dumerc after the flagrant call on Selwyn to make it 70 – 68 with 40 seconds to play. Following a timeout Israel forced a turnover but Cohen's layup on the other end wouldn’t fall. Dumerc made it a 4 point game, Suez Karni's open three rimmed out, and Israel said goodbye to Eurobasket without a win. Again.

Israel opened the game with a good amount of energy considering the situation, and Cohen & Selwyn led the way with 15 of Israel's 19 first quarter points. Cohen hit two threes and Suez Karni made a tough shot to make it 19 – 17 after one, as France dominated the boards completely.

Israel's first offensive rebound of the game created a nice assist from Selwyn to Doron, 23 – 17, but France kept going inside and making three point plays, 23 – 24, six to go in the half. Dumerc and Gruda came back for France and Israel couldn’t get anything going in the set game, nor could they stop France from scoring inside. Doron with a basket and a dish to Cohen who hit a layup and her 3rd three gave Israel the lead back, 30 – 26, but that lasted about a minute. France made a quick 6 – 0 run to go back up but Israel had another run in store that made up for the fact Gruda was unstoppable. Cohen hit another three, Selwyn added a 'And 1' and Suez Karni hit a three to give Israel a 39 – 36 lead an a little to smile about.

Doron drove past Cathy Melain and Selwyn hit a three to continue her field day, 46 – 40. France answered fast with two threes and Israel got into a 4 minute drought, during which France subbed out most starters. Cohen ended in with a three, 51 – 50 Israel, but a complete miscommunication on defense got France their easiest hoop of the night, 52 – 52.

The insane amount of lead changes continued in an exciting 4th quarter. Hermouet hit a three to give the French the lead, 57 – 56, while Israel was playing too fast and turning it over. Cohen & Doron hit threes to give Israel a 62 – 58 lead, but France again answered very fast. Gruda hit twice from midrange to make it 66 – 64 for France, and they held on.

For Israel:
Liron Cohen 30 pts (6/6 threes)
Shay Doron 15 pts, 4 TOs
Laine Selwyn 13 pts
Liad Suez Karni 7 pts
Michal Epstein 3 pts
Katia Levitsky 2 pts, 5 rebs

Sandrine Gruda led France with 11 pts

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