EUROBASKET WOMEN 2011
Turning Point: With France threatening to steal victory in overtime, Isil Alben hit a three-pointer with 1:52 left in overtime to key a 7-0 run that saw Turkey sweep into the final.
Game Hero: Nevin Nevlin was restored into the Turks' starting line-up to nullify the power of the French. It was the perfect tactic and she delivered 23 points and 8 rebounds.
Stats Don't Lie: Turkey shot 43% from the field and consistently good shots, inside and out. France, shooting just 32%, have not been at their best in Poland. They just didn't have enough.
Turkey delivered a heart-stopping performance to end the reign of defending EuroBasket Women champions France, beating the odds once again to claim a stunning 68-62 overtime win that sent them onwards to Sunday's final against Russia.
Ten points clear in the second period, Ceyhyn Yildoglu's side were tested to the limit, mentally and physically.
But in a dramatic OT, they hit the last seven points and then embraced on another in celebration.
In their first-ever European semi-final, Turkey showed no signs of fear against the two-time winners, converting 12 points without reply in the opening quarter.
Sitting 16-15 ahead at the end of the first quarter, the underdogs made their strongest run.
Nevlin ignited an 8-0 burst and when Isil Alben drained a three-pointer with 2:29 in the second period, her side were 36-26 in front.
The travelling Turkish supporters waved their flags. The tricolores were muted as the French trailed 38-31 at half-time.
And they slumped further when Saziye Iveglin capped a 7-0 spurt that maintained the gap at 49-42 at the end of the third period after Le Bleues had rallied.
The best drama still lay ahead. Edwige Lawson's three-pointer sparked a 8-2 start to the fourth that raised the stakes and, with 3:10 left, Emilie Gomis hit two free-throws to give the French a 54-53 lead.
Nevriye Yilmaz - who added 17 points and 11 rebounds - converted two to restore Turkey's advantage. And when Birsel Vardarli improbably saw a one-handed effort drop from long range, it looked like the fortunes had turned.
Pierre Vincent urged his players not to give up their title. Gomis hit a jumper, then Jennifer Digbeu launched a three from the top of the key, punching the air as it fell through the hoop.
Vardarli quickly levelled at 60-60. But Turkey's outstanding guard buried her head in her hands at the end of regulation, having missed two fouls shots with seven seconds left that could have killed off the French for good.
Fortunately for her, it was not a fatal mistake. And now she and her team-mates can look forward to the opportunity to create one final upset - and avenge the 80-65 defeat they suffered to the Russians earlier in the competition.
Gomis had a game-high 24 points for France.