|20 July 2008|
Lithuania held off a stubborn Italian side to take a 69-55 win and stay undefeated in the U18 European Championship for Women.
Egle Siksniute had a game-high 24 points and was well seconded by the pair of Aurime Rinkeviciute (18 and 10 rebounds) and Giedre Paugaite (10 and 15) to record their third win in as many games.
The Azzuris led 6-4 early on but Lithuania then used a 9-0 run to take a 19-14 edge after the first quarter and stayed in front from that point on.
Ramune Kumpiene's side extended their lead to 32-20 in large part thanks to their suffocating defense as they held their opponents without a field goal for almost six minutes.
But the Azzuris broke from that slump and scored nine unanswered points - including a pair of three-pointers by Alice Quarta late on - to close to within three, 32-29 at the break, leaving this game wide open.
Marco Rota's girls stayed close for the early part of the third quarter before Lithuania found the cracks in the defense and scored easy baskets to build up their lead to double-digits time and time again.
Italy's pressure defense - which had worked so well in the second quarter - was for the most part inefficient after the break as the tall Siksniute made her way down the court and caught long passes for easy lay ups.
Federica Nannucci had 14 points for Italy and Alessandra Tava added 13.