Sept. 9, 2013
By UConn Athletic Communications
The German Men’s National Basketball Team, which includes UConn senior Niels Giffey (Berlin, Germany), defeated Israel, 80-76, Monday, but the victory was not enough to allow the Germans to advance to the second round of play of EuroBasket 2013, the European Championships.
Germany’s victory, in front of 2,940 fans at the Tivoli Arena in Ljubljana, Slovenia, lifted the team’s record to 2-3 in Group A play, with victories over France and Israel and losses to Belgium (in overtime), Ukraine, and Great Britain. Of the six teams in Group A, France, Ukraine, and Belgium qualified to move on to the second round of competition.
Giffey came off the bench to play 21 minutes against Israel, scoring two points on 1-of-3 shooting, and he also grabbed 2 rebounds. Although he did not attempt a three-point shot against Israel, Giffey finished as the top three-point percentage shooter in the tournament’s first round, hitting 7-of-10 (70.0 percent). For the five games, the UConn senior averaged 9.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, and 25.4 minutes per game. At age 22, he was the youngest player on the German ballclub.
Germany fell behind, 20-12, after the first quarter, but rallied in the second session behind a 9-0 run and took a 31-30 lead into the locker room at halftime. The Germans inched further ahead, 53-49, after three quarters, and played Israel even in the final period to secure the four-point win.
Germany was led by Per Gunther and Lucca Staiger with 15 points each, while Tibor Pleiss had 14 rebounds. Omri Casspi had 22 points and 13 rebounds for Israel.