After a tight first quarter, Croatia pulled away and never looked back Thursday night in Slovenia, defeating Ukraine 84-72 in the Eurobasket quarterfinals. Croatia will now play one of the pre-tournament favorites, Lithuania in the semifinals. This is Croatia’s first appearance in the semis since 1995 and with the berth comes automatic qualification into the World Championships next year and Eurobasket 2015.
The first quarter of the game was up and down, before Croatia went on a huge run in the 2nd to give themselves a lead of 16. Ukraine fought back in the 2nd half, and were able to bring their deficit under ten, but the Croats were ultimately too strong, and took the win 84-72.
Krunoslav Simon had a big game for Croatia, with 23 points, and good guard play from Croatia saw them tally 22 assists, to Ukraine’s 12. Croatia’s semifinal against Lithuania will be played tomorrow at 11:35 ET. Lithuania has allowed the 2nd fewest points in the tournament, at just 66.1 per game.