EUROBASKET WOMEN QUALIFIERS
|Anna Jurcenkova had a team-high seven rebounds, as Slovakia out-rebounded Slovenia, 44-35.|
The Slovak Republic brought an end to Slovenia's perfect start to the Qualification Round for EuroBasket Women 2013 on Tuesday.
Veteran duo Ivana Jalcova and Romana Vynuchalova led the way with 15 and 14 points, respectively, in a 72-61 victory for the visitors.
Needing a victory to stay firmly in the hunt for a top-two finish in Group C, Ivan Vojtko's team got it after an excellent start.
Center Sandra Pirsic scored Slovenia's first four points as they led at the beginning, but only briefly.
Young center Klaudia Lukacovicova made a couple of lay-ups in a row to put the Slovaks in front, 6-4, and spark a 12-0 run.
Pirsic interrupted the spurt for Slovenia by making a jump shot and would end up with 10 points in the frame but Slovenia trailed 24-16 10 minutes into the contest.
The Slovaks twice went ahead by 10 in the second quarter after made jumpers from Lucia Kupcikova and Jalcova.
Slovenia dug in their heels and battled back.
Maja Erkic connected from the arc and Eva Komplet made a lay-up as Slovenia scored the last five points of the first half to trail 38-35.
Four times the hosts pulled to within two points in the third quarter.
It happened after baskets by Komplet and Tina Trebec, and twice Pirsic went to the line with an opportunity to trim the deficit to one but managed to only split her free-throws.
The 1.97m center Pirsic continued to be Slovenia's biggest weapon and ended the third period having poured in 24 points, yet Slovakia went to the last quarter on top, 58-50.
The closest Slovenia would get in the fourth was 61-55 with 6:44 remaining after a lay-up by Komplet.
Jalcova responded with a three-pointer for Slovakia and the visitors stayed in front the rest of the way to leave both sides with 3-1 records.
Pirsic, whose previous high this summer had been 12 points in a narrow win over Belgium, finished with 25 points and 11 rebounds.
Trebec also had 11 boards to go with her six points.
Slovakia, however, rebounded better as a team, winning that battle 44-35.