By David Hein
Four players scored in double figures as Lithuania used an 9-0 third quarter run to pull away from Romania 67-50 for their first victory of the 2007 EuroBasket Women while also eliminating Romania in Group B action in Lanciano.
Lina Brazdeikyte tallied 15 points and four steals, Agne Ciudariene had 14 points while Egle Sulciute chipped in 11 points and Sandra Valuzyte added 10 for Lithuania, who bounced
back from a poor showing against Belgium on Monday.
|Maria Pascalau was the only player who managed to reach double-figures for Romania with 12 points.|
Lithuania over-came committing 21 turnovers - after 26 against Belgium - but were helped by Romania's 23 turnovers and holding Marc Silvert's team to just 24% (16-of-66) shooting for the game.
"It wasn't a pretty view for the viewers, but the other team and us came into the game with the stress of needing a win. And I think we did a solid job defensively," said Lithuania coach Algirdas Paulauskas. "We need to minimize our turnovers. We had a lot of turnovers like yesterday but we're improving each game."
Romania suffered their second straight loss despite 12 points and 12 rebounds from Maria Pascalau.
Their 0-2 record leaves Romania guaranteed a fourth-placed finish in the group since a victory against Belgium on Wednesday would not be enough to overtake Germany or Lithuania, who square off in the other showdown on Wednesday.
"Our goal on defense was almost there. But when you score 50 points you don't have a chance. There's no way you can win games like that. We missed so many easy baskets and free throws, so we have nothing to complain about. We didn't deserve to win," said Silvert.
Neither team really gained any control of the match in the initial stages with the score even at 16-16 with two minutes to play in the first.
But Brazdeikyte's three-pointer sparked a 12-0 run spanning the first and second quarters as Lithuania led 24-16 after one period and 28-16 on Sulciute's lay-up early in the second frame.
Pascalau and Annemarie Parau combined for Romania's final 11 points of the second quarter as they trailed the Baltic nation 35-27 at the break.
Lithuania came out of the locker-room on a 9-0 run with Brazdeikyte and Valuzyte combining for seven of those points and a 44-27 lead.
Romania finally scored their first basket of the second half on Paula Ciocan's three-pointer at the 5:40 mark and the Romanians were to within 50-38 going into the fourth.
Romania tried to mount a final comeback but didn't have the fire-power and Lithuania eventually pushed the advantage to 18 points - 61-43 - with four minutes to play, with Romania getting no closer then 14 points the rest of the way.