Lithuania Better Italy But Only Just

22 July 2011
Rokas Narkevicius made five of six free throws in the final 24.5 seconds as defending champions Lithuania nearly wasted away a 13-point fourth quarter lead but held on to beat Italy 82-79 and remain perfect in Group D of the U18 European Championship Men.

Osvaldas Olisevicius had 23 points and six rebounds while Tomas Lekunas collected 19 points, five rebounds and four assists with Paulius Semaska added 10 points for the Lithuanians.

Amedeo Della Valle scored a game-high 24 points while Francesco Veccia and Amedeo Tessitori both had 12 points as Italy dropped to 1-1 in the group.

After Lithuania jumped to a 6-0 lead, Italy pull ahead 11-10. Lithuania regained the lead and were up 20-13 before leading 23-19 after one quarter.

The advantage was eight points but Italy evened the game before watching Lithuania open a 45-34 cushion and the Baltic side led 45-36 at halftime.

Italy pulled the game within seven points but dropped behind 14 points - 57-43 - with the third quarter ending with Lithuania ahead 61-53.

Lithuania opened the gap back to 13 points with five minutes left but Italy would not go down without a fight, cutting the margin to 74-71, setting up Narkevicius's heroics down the stretch.


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