Italy claimed a decisive triumph over Croatia on Saturday night in Venice to take the inside track to a place at this year's EuroBasket Women in Latvia.
The Azzurre, fresh off an impressive midweek road victory in Belgium, rolled to an 83-50 win.
If both sides prevail against Belgium again, Croatia will not only have to beat the Italians on January 19 to win Group B.
They will have to do so by 34 points to clinch their head-to-head tie-breaker.
Croatia had sent out a warning that they were not to be taken lightly by hammering Belgium last weekend and Ana Lelas put them in front against Italy early on at 5-2 with a three-pointer.
Giampiero Ticchi's Italian troops were supremely focused, though, and responded by scoring 16 straight points for an 18-5 advantage.
Raffaella Masciadri had five points, and both Simona Ballardini and Kathrin Ress four in that early scoring explosion by the Italians.
Croatia poured in nine consecutive points to trail 18-14, only for the Italians to go in front by 15.
The visitors finished the quarter with an 8-2 spurt and went to the changing rooms behind 40-31.
At the break for Italy, Ress and Giorgia Sottana each had eight points, and Manuela Zanon seven.
The Croatians returned to the floor with a renewed sense of purpose and trimmed the deficit to 43-38 with 5:52 left in the third quarter after Marta Cakic poured in five points in a row.
Ticchi's team held Croatia to just three points for the rest of the frame and scored 13 to take a 56-41 stranglehold on the game.
The home side then blew out the Croatians over the final 10 minutes, outscoring them 27-9.
Umana Reyer Venezia stars Ballardini and Sottana each had 14 points to lead a balanced Italy scoring attack.
Jelena Ivezic was the only Croatian to reach double figures in points with 12.