Croatia Pull Away, Top Finland
After yet another win in the Qualifying Round, Croatia can start to prepare for the Quarter-Final Round. At the U16 European Championship Women they defeated Finland 70-54 in the two teams' final match in Group E.
Ivana Tikvic (Croatia) posted a double double with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Finland's Anni Kärkkäinen scored a game high 17 points.
Croatia took an early lead (9-4). Finland, despite already being eliminated from Quarter-Final Round contention, worked hard and ended the first quarter with a 9-0 run which was sufficient enough to give them a four point lead after ten minutes. Croatia turned the ball over eight times in the first ten minutes of play.
It didn't take them long to reclaim the lead though. Croatia were up 28-24 shortly before halftime but a long distance buzzer beater from Anni Jämsä made it a one point game.
Overall Croatia were too much for the Finns, namely in rebounding and points in the paint. The performance inside laid the foundation for a 45-35 lead after three quarters.
A 7-0 start into the final period bolstered their advantage to 52-35 and practically sealed victory for them. The last quarter was a demonstration of free scoring (25-19).
Both coaches gave their second units a lot of playing time. The bench players outscored the starters of their respective team by a significant margin.