EUROBASKET WOMEN QUALIFIERS
|Martyna Koc had 16 points for Poland, including the game-winning basket almost at the final buzzer |
Poland battled back from a 13-point deficit in the second half and beat Serbia on Saturday, 76-74.
In an important Group B encounter of the EuroBasket Women Qualification Round, the Poles prevailed to improve to 2-1 while Serbia slumped to 1-2.
The Balkan side had a dream start and led 49-40 at half-time.
At the break, Ana Dabovic had 12 points and Nevena Jovanovic nine for Serbia, who were looking to build on their midweek win over Switzerland.
After the restart, Dabovic hit a jumper and Jelena Maksimovic added a lay-up to stretch the advantage to 53-40.
Poland then shifted into a higher gear, courtesy of the free-throw line.
Agnieszka Skobel twice earned trips to the charity stripe and made three of four attempts and then Agnieszka Majewska drew a foul and sank two more free-throws to cut the gap to 53-45.
Dabovic interrupted the run with a jump shot to take her points haul to 16, only for Poland's Skobel to twice get ahead on the fast break and score lay-ups to trim the deficit to 55-49.
The run continued as Martyna Koc, Weronika Idczak and Agnieszka Szott each scored to knot the contest at 55-55.
Dabovic breathed new hope into Serbia with a three-ball and Marina Mandic followed with a jumper, but Skobel's two free-throws left Poland trailing only 60-57 going to the last frame.
Poland finally went in front when Idczak scored with a driving lay-up at the 6:54 mark to make it 66-64.
With Serbia trying to stay in touch, Idczak hit a three-pointer just one minute from time to give Poland a 74-69 lead.
The Serbs refused to quit.
After Tamara Radocaj split free-throws on two trips to the line, Maksimovic knotted the contest at 74-74 with a jumper just eight seconds from the death.
Poland called a timeout and when play resumed, the hosts got the ball to Koc who hit a jumper for the two-point victory.
Idczak led Poland with 17 points, Koc added 16, Szott 14 and Skobel 13.
For Serbia, Dabovic exploded for a game-high 27 points in defeat.
Poland had 19 turnovers and Serbia 17.