Italy dismantle Serbia, Belgium wipe out Ukraine

08 August 2008

Julie Vanloo (Belgium)
Julie Vanloo (Belgium) scored 12 points
Four players scored in double figures as Italy surprised Serbia 84-54 in the Group C opener of the Termosteps U16 European Championship Women.

Debora Carangelo led the way with 17 points and Alessandra Formica added 11 points and 11 rebounds as Italy pulled away in the second quarter and never looked back.

Irene Cigliani chipped in 11 points and Gaia Gorini had 10 for Giovanni Lucchesi's team, which shot 10-of-21 from three-point range. The Italians also held the Serbs to just 29 percent shooting, including 1-of-16 from long range, and out-rebounded them 60-38.

Snezana Colic paced Serbia with 14 poitns while Natasa Kovacevic added 10 points in a losing effort.

Italy used long balls from Formica, Cigliani and Marta Masoni to stay even with Serbia 15-15. But Gorini's three-pointer sparked a 7-0 run to close the first quarter ahead 22-15. Jovana Karakasevic trimmed the deficit to 22-20 and the Italians did not get on the scoreboard until the 6:30 mark of the second. But Carangelo broked the scoring slump and hit three baskets in a 15-2 surge to go into the break ahead 37-22.

Lucchesi's squad continued their impressive display from outside and their tough defense, knocking down five three-balls and forcing five Serb turnovers in building the lead to 34 points - 67-33 - late in the third period. Italy did not let up at all in the fourth despite leading 67-37 to start the period, allowing Serbia to pull within 28 points early in the quarter and pushing the lead to 36 points.

In Group B, Belgium allowed just 11 second half points in thrashing Ukraine 93-35 behind 28 points from Lut De Meyer.

Hanne Mestdagh and Julie Vanloo both scored 12 points while Inge Meylemans collected 11 points, five rebounds and eight steals, and Emma Meesseman had nine points, 10 rebounds, four assists, five steals and five blocked shots.

Etienne Louvrier's team out-rebounded Ukraine 49-34 and forced 36 turnovers.

Ukraine's top scorer was Darya Zavidna with eight points.

Elena Fedchenko's team led the game early 7-6 before the Belgians went on their first run - a 24-5 surge for a 30-12 lead after one period. Lynn Delvaux's three-pointer made it 39-12 to which the Ukrainians answered with a 12-2 run to trim the deficit to 41-24. But De Meyer and Mestdagh spear-headed a 20-0 surge spanning the second and third quarters for a 61-24 advantage.

The Belgians did not let up at all and forced one turnover after another, pushing the lead to 67-28 after three periods. And the Belgian bench increased the lead throughout the fourth period all the way to 60 points in the final minute and only a buzzer-beating jumper by Yevgeniya Sivakova saved a 60-point drubbing.

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