Italy delighted their home supporters on Monday night in Cagliari as they delivered an astute display to crush France 70-51 in their opening second round game at U16 European Championship for Women.
Cecilia Zandalasini had 17 of her game-high 21 points in the first half as the hosts built a 37-27 lead, negating France's superior size with hustle and speed.
Up 16 in the third quarter, Italy controlled the tempo with their guards, forcing mistakes and scoring off turnovers. And with the French struggling from long range, it allowed their rivals to pull away.
It was, said Italy coach Renato Nani, another positive step for his side who have been almost perfect since a crushing loss to Spain in their opening game last week.
"We've seen this summer, in both men and women, how good Spain is so there was no pressure from losing to them," he said.
"I told them to treat it like a play-off game. It doesn't matter if you lose by 20 or 60. The next day you forget about it and you have a new game. That's been a good mentality for us."