|Kate Kreslina played a key role in leading Latvia to victory upon their return to Division A|
Latvia opened their U20 European Championship Women campaign with a 69-56 win over Greece in Udine on Thursday, thanks to some impressive three-point shooting.
Turning Point: A sequence of three consecutive made three-pointers from Ilze Jakobsone (two) and Kate Aizsila, was the catalyst for the 11-1 run that saw Latvia take control midway through the second period and go from trailing to holding a 35-28 edge at the half.
Game Hero: The hot hand was catching among the Latvian players and most shot well from the floor but it was Jakobsone who shone brightest, scoring 11 points, six of them coming in that pivotal run in the second period.
Stats Don't Lie: Latvia's accuracy from long range was ultimately the difference between the two teams. Greece actually shot a better percentage from two-point range but the fact that Latvia connected on 10 of their 18 three-point attempts (56%), allowed them to open up a lead and keep their opponents at arm's length.
The Bottom Line: This game clearly meant a lot to both teams, with two of the competition's strongest sides, France and Spain, their other opponents in Group B. That importance was evident from the start and the fact they have come through such a test will take a lot of pressure of the Latvian team.
They said: "We didn't play very good offence so we couldn't score that much. We missed a lot of easy shots, lay-ups, but we still have games to play and we will give our best.
"Me and Vasiliki Tarla have played in two U20 European Championship Women already so we have more experience that the other girls and we are trying to pull them with us and do everything we can to help them." - Anna Stamolamprou (Greece)