Lithuania Spring Spanish Upset

02.09.2005

Lithuania sprung the first upset of the EuroBasket Women by beating 2003 bronze medalists Spain 74-69 on Friday.

The Baltic country, champions in 1997, failed to even qualify for the event in 2003 but they made it to Turkey and have hit the ground running against a very good Spanish team in Group B.

Rima Valentiene led the way with 19 points, some of them in the fourth quarter when the game was on the line.

Amaya Valdemoro, who scored a game-high 27 points, put Spain ahead at 65-61 on a lay-up with 4:53 remaining in the game.

Having trailed for most of the contest, Spain appeared to have the wind in their sails but Valentiene struck for Lithuania with a three-pointer to close the gap to 65-64.

Two minutes later and Lithuania's Egle Sulciute rebounded a missed three-point attempt from Iveta Marcauskaite and scored for a 66-65 lead with 2:53 to go.

Her team led the rest of the way although Spain made things interesting until the end.

After Sandra Valuzyte made a pair of free throws with 32 seconds left for a 72-69 lead, Spain attempted four shots from behind the arc but missed all of them - they were three of 19 (15.8%) from long range in the game.

Marina Ferragut fouled Sulciute, and she buried two free throws for the final margin.

Spain will be heavy favourites against Romania on Saturday while Lithuania take on Serbia & Montenegro. 


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