Turkey Stuns France 68-62 in OT to Reach EuroBasket Finals

Considered as a heavy underdog, Turkey overcame the odds once again as they escaped with a thrilling 68-62 overtime win over defending champions France in the semifinals of the EuroBasket Women 2011 in Poland.

Nevin Nevlin had another brilliant performance as she finished with 23 points and eight rebounds, lifting the Turkish team to prominence after not being considered as one of the favorites prior to the tournament.

Nevriye Yilmaz also had a share of the spotlight as she finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds, while Birsel Vardarli added 14 points, including a crucial basket that tie the game at 60 with 44 seconds left in the game, a basket that forced an extra five-minute session.

France threatened to steal the game away in overtime, but Turkey displayed tremendous composure, unleashing a 7-0 run sparked by a huge three-pointer from Isil Aben with less than two minutes left in the game. The Turkish squad never looked back, escaping with the win to earn a finals ticket.

"Today we played against a very special team, against the champions. We made a lot defensive changes in overtime and I think it succeeded," said Turkey coach Ceyhyn Yildizoglu. "All the Turkish players sacrificed and they fought like yesterday. They played smart. I am happy we are now in our first final. I think we deserve it."

Turkey arranged a European title showdown against Russia, who demolished Czech Republic, 85-53, in their own semifinals match.


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