Turning Point: Ukraine made a huge comeback in the closing quarter and had the momentum. But, as they were down by five points before the last minute, Oleksandr Kolchenko made a bad pass which Saso Ozbolt picked up and fed an assist to Zoran Dragic. From a possible one possession game it turned into a seven-point gap and Ukraine spent the last minute chasing after Slovenia instead of looking them in the eyes.
Game Hero: Mirza Begic stepped up for Slovenia with 14 points and seven rebounds in 22 minutes. His presence under the boards combined with a couple of big plays, helped Slovenia eliminate the front line of Ukraine and hold the lead the entire game.
Stats Don't Lie: Slovenia turned the ball over 10 times in the first three quarters but had nine in the final quarter alone. That's what helped Ukraine come back to the game and almost force overtime, and almost cost Slovenia a game they should have easily won.
Slovenia almost dropped a win that was already resting in their palm but finished the encounter versus Ukraine with a 68-64 victory in Group D action at Klaipeda.
The win saw Slovenia move to 2-0 with Friday as a rest day while Ukraine fell to 0-2 and will need a quick recovery to make it to Vilnius.
Mirza Begic was the top scorer for Slovenia with 14 points and also grabbed seven rebounds while Erazem Lorbek added 12 points.
Stiven Burtt was the top scorer of Ukraine with 14 points and added five assists, while Kyrylo Fesenko collected 11 points including a couple of big dunks.
The game had two different faces.
In the first three quarters, Slovenia was the dominating force and they took over the game starting in the second period.
Lorbek and Begic scored inside while Matjaz Smodis helped with points facing the basket.
Ukraine had no answers to the aggressive Slovenian defense and fell behind by as many as 22 in the third quarter.
However, in the last 10 minutes something changed.
Ukraine got back on the floor with a different energy and tried to pressure the ball.
It worked as Slovenia - who had committed only 10 turnovers in the first 30 minutes - had nine more in the final frame alone.
Ukraine got within 60-57 with still 2:32 to play, but Slovenia then woke up right in time to avoid an upset.
Begic made a pair from the foul line and after a turnover by Oleksandr Kolchenko it was Slovenia's Zoran Dragic who pushed the lead up to seven, 65-58, with 41 seconds to play.
Ukraine continued the chase and was within two with four ticks on the clock but Saso Ozbolt connected a pair from the foul line and kept the win on Slovenia's side.
On Saturday, Slovenia will take on Georgia in a key game in the group while Ukraine will seek their first victory against Bulgaria.