Italy kept alive their EuroBasket Women qualifying push with a 68-52 win over Finland on Wednesday night.
Having played more games than third-placed Turkey in Group B, Italy took advantage of the Turks' loss to Poland with a comfortable victory in Espoo, consolidating second place.
|Niina Laaksonen had a double-double|
Finland did not roll over however, and scored the final six points of the quarter to keep Italy honest.
However, there was no way back for Finland and Emanuela Ramon's lay-up capped a 10-2 Italy run that killed the game off as a contest going into the final three minutes.
Ballardini led Italy with 14 points while Kathrin Ress added 13.
Tiina Sten finished as the game's top scorer with 16 for Finland, while Niina Laaksonen had 11 and 10 rebounds.