EUROBASKET WOMEN 2015 QR
There was relief for Italian play-caller Roberto Ricchini as his team finally found their offensive rhythm to take a 66-58 home win against Estonia in Group C of the EuroBasket Women 2015 2nd Qualification Round.
|Francesca Dotto top-scored for the Italians in Lucca|
Having suffered a string of losses during preparation, the hosts were put under pressure early by the Estonians who played with confidence right from the tip-off.
The visitors jumped into a handy 18-10 lead after a score by teenage ace Burgit Piibur, but Italy finally came alive as a free-throw by Chiara Consolini completed a 12-4 run to level matters.
A three-ball by Giorgia Sottana put the Italians in front minutes later, but by early in the third period, Merike Anderson had ensured Estonia once again had the share of the lead.
It went right down into the fourth period and just when it mattered most, Italy found the fluidity on offence they had been searching for all night by converting 20 final quarter points.
An 11-3 burst did the trick and left Estonia with too much of a gap to make up and with time scarce, Italy managed to hold off any late comeback.
Viive Kai-Rebane had 14 points and seven rebounds for Estonia and Francesca Dotto enhanced her burgeoning reputation with 12 points for Italy.