EUROBASKET WOMEN QUALIFIERS
|Jelena Maksimovic and Serbia edged Poland in front of a crowd of 2,500 in Belgrade|
Serbia grinded out a 67-62 victory over Poland on Wednesday night to move into the driver's seat for a second-place finish in EuroBasket Women Qualification Round Group B.
The Poles, who won the first encounter against Serbia by two points, will lose a potential three-team-tie with Montenegro and Serbia as well as the head-to-head tie-breaker with Serbia with a -3 goal differential if the sides finish with the same record.
Poland take on Switzerland next week while Serbia face Estonia.
For Poland to go through, they have to win while Serbia will need to lose to Estonia.
Ana Dabovic had 20 points for Serbia and hit some clutch free-throws in the waning moments of the contest.
Poland led 57-54 with 1:57 to play but Milica Dabovic and Marina Mandic earned trips to the line for Serbia and each made two free-throws to go in front by one.
Dabovic followed with a three-point play with 49 seconds to play.
The points difference was crucial and Poland gave themselves a chance of escaping with a one-point defeat after Agnieszka Skobel buried a three-ball to close the gap to 63-62.
Poland fouled Dabovic, however, and she sank both free-throws to push the advantage back to three.
Mandic then picked off a pass by Skobel and hit a jumper for the five-point victory.
Poland out-rebounded Serbia, 40-37, and also made 18 of their 20 free-throws while Serbia hit 21 of 26.