|Spain remain undefeated heading to the second round|
By Paul Nilsen
Turning Point: Marta Xargay got her hands in the passing lanes a number of times when Spain were on the ropes in the second quarter. She then drilled two downtown scores in quick succession shortly before half-time to help Spain overturn an eight point deficit and get on level terms at 30. It also gave them important momentum coming back out of the locker room after the half.
Stats Don't Lie: Spain threw a defensive blanket over their opponents, helped by out-rebounding Sweden by 50-36.
Game Heroes: Sancho Lyttle didn't have her greatest shooting night but finished with another double-double, this time landing 17 points and 17 rebounds.
The reign of Russia as EuroBasket Women champions will soon be over after they were dumped out of the tournament in the wake of Spain routing Sweden 73-49 as the curtain fell on first round action in Vannes.
However the win for Spain triggered celebrations for Italy whose nervous wait for confirmation of a Round 2 place ended with a ticket for Lille.
Russia must now deal with the reality of not only giving up their EuroBasket Women crown, but also missing the FIBA 2014 World Championship in Turkey next year.
Having lost twice to Sweden during the qualification round last summer, Spain extracted some sweet revenge - a fact not lost on Laia Palau.
"It was something that we had deep in our souls to finally beat this team and so I am very happy," beamed the guard.
"We beat them by a lot and for us it is important because we also sent out a strong message too."
Sweden were by far the best team in the early stages but inspired by a nice cameo by Xargay, Spain took a major step up in the second half and Sweden just couldn't cope.
They got overpowered in the paint and when Spain started to finally make some triples, there was no way back.
Spain to move to the second round with two wins and leave Sweden with no victories - since their success against eliminated Russia won't count.
Sweden Player Anna Barthold
"We started pretty good in this game but in the second half we were tired and we weren't able to stop them. Our defence didn't work really and that was the key."
Spain Player Sancho Lyttle
"My team helped me to get this performance, they looked upon me to help them also. In the first half I was not so good on offence, but in the second half my shot started working, I continued with the defence and we got the win."
Sweden Head Coach Lars Johansson
"Congratulations to Spain for this deserved win, they were much more aggressive, it clearly showed in the difference on rebounds and field goals attempted. We weren't able to face them physically and as the game went on, they just took it over. Congratulations also to Lyttle who had a terrific performance with a double-double of 17 and 17, quite impressive. In the second round we are going to take it game-by-game and maybe we can go even further."
Spain Head Coach Lucas Mondelo
"First of all congratulations to Sweden for advancing to the next round, they are doing a great job on the court and also within the Federation, and they will be a very dangerous team also in the next round. About the game, we started overexcited and were penalised. Then we changed our defence and we re-worked the scouting to find their fractures. I think this group was really hard and Italy, Sweden and us will fight a lot in the next rounds."