France Suffocate Russia To Win Bronze

24.07.2011

U20 European Championship

For the third time in the history of the U20 European Championship, France win the bronze medal after a one-sided game against Russia, 66-50.

France, who won the gold last year and the silver two years ago, become the first team ever to win all three medals in the span of three years, and by grabbing their fifth medal overall become the team with the third most podium spots in the U20 championships, just one behind Serbia and four behind Spain.

Russia lost the medal game for the third time, and will settle for the fourth spot - their best standing since 2007 when they last finished at the exact same spot.

Evan Fournier had 20 points on 70% from the field, Leo Westermann added 11 with three perfect hits from the arc and Mael Lebrun was the third top scorer with seven.



Nikita Balashov was the only player in Russia in double-digits with 15 while Evgeny Fidiy earned eight points and seven boards.

After Italy broke their defensive line on Semi-Finals night, the French had something to prove tonight.

Russia was the victim and was stopped on 50 points - their tournament low.

Already in the first quarter we saw France take a double-digit lead with a 21-10 gap, and Russia never managed to bring it back to a single point game.

France enjoyed the better start, shared points between five players in the first minutes and after Fournier scored from the arc held a 14-7 lead.

The great spread and help from the bench continued as by the end of the first quarter no less than eight French players were on the scoring sheet, only Westermann with more than three points, and the score after 10 minutes was 21-10.

Effective pressure on the ball helped France extend the lead by four more points, and by the time Russia reacted it was already too late.

Westermann with a three-pointer and Fournier with the same trick and then a big dunk added points and set the half time score on 39-21 in favor of France.

The second half didn't impact the game one bit, as the gap remained in the teens, while France got all 12 players involved with points.

Fournier hurt Russia once again as France cruised for a win worth of the medal.


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