Through two days and seven games in the Istanbul region of the FIBA World Championships, Katsiaryna Snytsina of Belarus has tallied the two most-dramatic shots.
In Sunday’s 70-69 come-from-behind win over Cuba, Snytsina knocked down a three with 14 seconds left, one day after her dagger in the final seconds slayed the Koreans’ hearts.
Down five with 36 seconds remaining, Nadzeya Drozd connected on a three- her only points of the game after seven misses- to chip it to 69-67. Cuban Oyanaisy Gelis was sent to the free throw line, but missed both, giving the ball back to Snytsina. Cuba had one more chance, but Leidys Oquendo failed on the game-winning attempt.
“I don’t know what to say, it was a terrible start,” Snytsina said. “We lost for most of the game, and we were really slow. Our confidence is now at a good level, not high, but at a good level.”
Yelena Luechanka, the former WNBA center who currently plays in Slovakia, grabbed the final rebound, her 18th of the game to go along with 20 points on 9-of-13 shooting. Snytsina finished with 18 points and four three pointers.
Oquendo had 10 of her team-high 19 points in the first quarter, as Cuba took a 22-15 lead. Belarus would score the first six of the second, and a three from Tatsiana Likhtarovich (12 points) brought it within 28-26. Another long-distance shot from Snytsina gave it the lead by one until Arlenys Romero drained one in the final half minute of the second to put the Cubans back up 37-35 at the break.
The game remained close and the teams traded off the lead. Yamara Amargo, who scored 19 in the loss to Australia Saturday, sank back-to-back threes to give Cuba the 53-48 edge. With only two points at halftime, Amargo scored 10 of her 18 in the third.
A Leuchanka sky hook at the buzzer brought the Belarusians within six after three, and after Amargo hit back-to-back threes again midway through the fourth, it looked like the Cubans wrapped it up until a 15-0 run finished the match.
Oquendo also grabbed 10 rebounds for Cuba and Ineidis Casanova dished 10 assists; Mariya Papova added 12 points for Belarus.
Belarus now plays Australia on Tuesday, the other 2-0 team in Group C, while Cuba will play Korea, which is also 0-2.
“We played against Australia two games before, we know each other,” Snytsina said. “I hope it’s nothing different from this game, but we start from the beginning.”
At Ankara Sunday evening, Turkey improved to 2-0 in Group B with a 55-44 win over Canada (1-1). Lara Sanders scored 18 with five blocks and six rebounds, and NevriyeYilmaz scored 13 for Turkey. Kim Gaucher and Katherine Plouffe each scored nine for the Canadians.