By Cindy Garcia-BennettBelarus demolished Croatia 92-66 to clinch their first-ever win at EuroBasket Women.
Anatoli Buyalski's side put a fast-paced style of play on display to delight the fans at Ortona and stun their oppponents.
With remarkable determination and precision on shots, they led 44-25 at half-time and
outscored Croatia 24-18 over the next 10 minutes on their way to a famous victory.
|Anastasiya Veremeenko had 10 points and eight rebounds for Belarus in the win.|
Belarus guard Tatyana Troina poured in a team-high 19 points.
She finished seven of eight (87.5%) from the floor.
Belarus had four other players finishing in double figures.
"It feels great," said Troina."We had to put aside yesterday's defeat to Spain for this game and we did it.
"For us every win is important, against Spain we were nervous but tonight we were able to show what we are capable of.
"We knew how Croatia played having studied them on video but for some reason Croatia didn't play their fast-paced game."
Belarus were superior shooting the ball on the night.
They were 35 of 58 (60.3%) from the floor, including seven of 13 from long range, while their opponents were 20 of 58 (34.4%) from the floor, and made just three of their 14 attempts from outside the arc.
"It was a disaster," said Croatian center Sonja Kireta, who finished with seven points.
"It's unbealievable, it is as though we were playing hide and seek in this game.
"We made lots of mistakes and we were punished."
Croatia made 11 of their 33 turnovers after 15 minutes played as their rivals stormed to a 33-17 lead.
Anastasiya Veremeenko's jumper gave Belarus a 40-19 lead with two minutes to go before the break.
Croatia trimmed the deficit to 68-49 with nine minutes left to play but that is as close as they got.
Petra Stampalija had a game-high 20 points in defeat.
Belarus take on Serbia in their final Group D game on Wednesday while Croatia take on Spain.