Sweden into next round, Lithuania win Baltic battle


Sweden booked their spot in the Qualifying Round of the Termosteps U16 European Championship Women with a 73-29 hammering of Ukraine in Group B.

And in Group A, Monika Grigalauskyte scored 20 points and grabbed 24 rebounds in leading Lithuania to a 62-51 victory over Baltic neighbours Latvia in Group A.

Gabija Morkunaite added 12 points as Zivile Mikalauskaite's Lithuanians used an 8-1 fourth quarter run to put the game away and improve to 1-1 in the group.

Arita Priedniece led Latvia with 12 points and Katrina Epnere chipped in six points and 11 rebounds. But it was not enough as Maija Kublina's Latvians dropped to 0-2 in the group.

Gabija Morkunaite (Lithuania)
Gabija Morkunaite (Lithuania) hit 12 points
Lithuania charged ahead 17-0 with Latvia missing their first nine shots and committing 10 turnovers before Laura Ozolina's three-pointer with 1:35 left in the first period. Latvia trailed 20-5 after one quarter and it was 24-7 when they went on a 9-3 run to close within 27-16. Lithuania were up 29-17 at the break.

Kristiana Pumpure's three-pointer sparked a 10-0 surge as Latvia trailed just 29-27. Lithuania would push the lead back to eight points but Epnere hit a triple and Priedniece's basket made it 42-39 after three periods. Linda Pagrode's basket made it 46-42 with seven minutes left, but Lithuania went on an 8-1 spurt to re-establish an 11-point advantage with three minutes remaining.

Sweden meanwhile received 19 points and nine rebounds from Farhiya Abdi in improving to 2-0 in Group B. Afroditi Kalidis and Binta Drammeh both had 11 points and Sandra Hasahya Ngoie chipped in 10 points for Peter Johansson's team.

Ukraine once again struggled mightily, turning the ball over 28 times and making less than 17 percent of their shots in falling to 0-2. Viktoriya Skubiy paced the Ukrainians with 17 points 

Sweden started strong defensively, forcing Ukraine to shoot from the outside. And Elena Fedchenko's team missed their first nine attempts as the Swedes grabbed a 17-0 lead with Abdi scoring 12 points in the run. Darya Zavidna hit Ukraine's first basket after five minutes of action and the Ukrainians trailed 26-5 after one period. Sweden hit the first seven points of the second quarter and did not allow Ukraine to score in the first six minutes in opening a 33-5 advantage. Peter Johansson's side led 34-11 at the break.

Skubiy hit two baskets midway through the third period to trim the deficit to 41-21. But Sweden answered with a 12-0 surge as Abdi provided the spark for a 53-21 lead, which was 53-25 going into the fourth. The Swedes scored the first 12 points of the final period in opening a 65-25 lead and Ukraine finally got on the board with Skubiy's foul shot at the 3:31 mark. The lead would swell to 45 points for Sweden.

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