FIBA World Cup Day 2: Finland Shocks Ukraine

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse
Shawn Huff led Finland to a stunning upset of Ukraine on the second day of the FIBA World Cup. (FIBA photo)

Shawn Huff led Finland to a stunning upset of Ukraine on the second day of the FIBA World Cup. (FIBA photo)

Day 1 of the FIBA World Cup passed with some close calls for favorites and one mild surprise. Day 2 delivered the first stunner of the tournament.

Ukraine, considered a lock to advance out of Group C, fell to 1-1 in group play with an 81-76 loss to Finland on Sunday.

Yes, the same Finnish team that lost by 59 points to the U.S. on Saturday.

But in Bilbao on Sunday, Shawn Huff scored 23 points and grabbed eight rebounds to pace the Finns past the Ukrainians.

Ukraine held a 37-35 halftime lead, but Finland (1-1) opened the period on a 22-2 run to go up 57-39 with 3:11 to go in the third quarter.

Then it was Ukraine’s turn to go on a run.

Led by five points from Eugene Jeter, Ukraine closed the third period on a 13-0 run to close to within 57-52 heading into the fourth.

Finland scored the first eight points of the fourth period to push the lead back to double digits at 65-52, going up 13 when Teemu Rannikko canned a 3-pointer with 7:36 left.

Huff’s jumper with 4:22 remaining put the Finns up 75-58.

Then it was time to hang on as Ukraine made one final push.

A conventional 3-point play by Jeter got the Ukrainians back to within 75-61 and Jeter hit a 3-pointer on the next possession to mark it 75-64.

A pair of Petteri Koponen free throws pushed the Finns’ advantage back to 77-65 with 2:26 left.

A 3-pointer by Maksym Pustozvonov with 1:22 left got the margin inside of double digits at 80-72 and Jeter hit the second of two free throws with 56 seconds left to get it to 80-73.

But Finland hung on for the upset and evened its record in group play through two games.

Even if they have been outscored by 54 points in the process.

Koponen finished with 14 points and nine assists for Finland, Erik Murphy of the Cleveland Cavaliers added 12 points and eight rebounds and Mikko Koivisto snared three steals and scored six points.

Jeter paced the Ukraine with 24 points and nine assists. Pustozvonov tossed in 15 points and Viacheslav Kravtsov had eight rebounds, but missed his only field-goal attempt.

Finland shot 46.8 percent (29-for-62) and Ukraine hit 44.4 percent (24-for-54). But the Ukrainians turned the ball over 18 times to just 11 for the Finns.

Also in Group C, Team USA struggled for awhile before finally putting away Turkey, 98-77. You can read more on that game here.

Here is the rest of the action from Day 2, broken down by group:

Want more from Hoops Habit?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix.
Enter your email and stay in the know.

Use your ← → (arrows) to browse

comments powered by Disqus