|Olivia Epoupa was huge for France with a double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds, not bad for a 1.63m guard|
by Björn-Lars Blank
In the evening game in Ptolemaida, France were able to clinch their second victory. In a tight game against Italy the French could win another thriller, outlasting the Italians 57-50.
Olivia Eqoupa (France) showed flashes of brilliance again as she scored 16 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and dished out 3 assists. Her teammate Valeriana Ayayi had a game high 18 points. For Italy Erica Reggiani led all scorers with 15 points.
In a low scoring game every possession counted. France had the early lead (25-17) but Italy limited them to only seven points in the second quarter. The French could not score in the first 4:30 minutes of the quarter. Italy took advantage of this drought and tied the game but the offensive production of them wasn't good enough to capture a sustainable lead.
In a closely contested third quarter France kept a slight lead all the way to the final period. Italy tied the game at 46 points apiece but couldn't keep up with the French in the decisive moments if the game. A three-point play by Eqoupa capped off a 8-0 run for France which proved to be pivotal.
Leading 54-46 with only two minutes left, France closed out the game and got what they hoped for: a win over Italy. Italy suffered their second heartbreaking loss in a row. Yesterday they fell to Serbia in a match that could have gone either way. Almost doesn't count though, meaning the Italians have to beat Croatia to keep themselves in the race for a spot in the next round.