Sep 6, 2013
By UConn Athletic Communications
UConn senior Niels Giffey (Berlin, Germany) scored 16 points, but it wasn't enough to stop his German National Basketball team from losing to Ukraine, 88-83, Friday in the third game of EuroBasket 2013, the European Championships, held in Ljubljana, Slovenia.
The loss dropped the Germans to 1-2 in Group A competition, with two first-round games remaining --- against Great Britain Sunday and Israel on Monday. The Germans defeated France and bowed to Belgium in overtime before losing to Ukraine. The three Group A teams with the best records will advance to the second round of the tournament.
Giffey came off the bench for Germany to hit 5-of-7 shots, including 4-of-5 from three-point range, and added a 2-of-2 performance from the foul line in his top scoring game of the tournament.
Ukraine, which remained undefeated (3-0) in the tournament, seemed to be in control after taking a 39-30 halftime lead, then building the margin as wide as 16 in the third quarter.
But Germany, led by Heiko Schaffartzik (22 points, 11 assists) and Robin Benzing (18 points), stormed back in the final minutes of the third and in the fourth quarter, and actually took a 74-73 lead on a Giffey three-pointer with 3:26 remaining in the game. But the Germans ran out of steam in the final minutes as Ukraine mounted a charge of its own and regained the lead down the stretch to clinch the victory.