Spain Too Much For Ukraine, Turkey Outlast Germany

10 July 2009

Spain ran Ukraine off the court for the final score of 85-48 to go 2-0 in Group A.

This one was never really close.  Spain jumped out from the opening whistle and Ukraine, despite playing hard, never really threatened to turn the tables on Jordi Fernández's team.

"Ukraine did something very strange, they started their bench players and by the time they got their normal starting line-up on the court, we had already broken the game open," said Fernandez.

Spain was lead by forwards Alba Torrens and Tamara Abalde who each scored 16 points.

"These games are good for the three of us [Abalde, Torrens, and Laura Nicholls] who were with the senior team in Latvia, it gives us a chance to get to know the team," said Abalde, who also pulled in seven boards.

The power forward now can draw on her experience with the bronze-medal senior team in the recent EuroBasket Women.

"In Latvia we got to play with the best players in Europe.  We learned a lot from the experience.  Especially from playing in tough, tight games we learned how to deal with difficult situations."

Spain ran out to a 26-10 lead after the first ten minutes powered by five team assists and forward Alba Torrens's two dimes and ten first-quarter points.  She would finish with 16 for the game.

Spain went into the halftime break enjoying a 44-28 lead.

At the beginning of the third Ukraine cut the lead to 48-34, but Spain put on the afterburners and took off again outscoring Ukraine 24-7 to go into the fourth quarter with a commanding 72-41 advantage.

In that run Abalde had eight points and Marta Xargay (5 points) scored five in addition to assisting Cristina Ouvina (9 points) for a breakaway lay-up after a steal.

The game out of hand, Spain cruised to victory giving their bench players valuable minutes.

Spain will now play Germany with the chance to go into the Qualifying Round with a clean slate. 

Ukraine, now 0-2, will face 1-1 Turkey with everything on the line.

Turkey Punish Germany Errors

Turkey outlasted Germany 69-59 leaving both teams 1-1 in Group A.

It was an even contest across the scorecard, with both teams shooting and rebounding the ball well. Both sides also equally suffered from sloppy ball handling, each giving it away twenty times. 

The one area where Turkey got the advantage on the Germans was forcing trips to the foul line. 

Aziz Akkaya's squad went to the foul stripe 35 times, making 20, compared to Germany's 13-of-24. 

Germany got out to an early 10-4 lead capped by a jumper by Julia Trogele, who led her team with ten points and six rebounds. 

But Turkey fought back and took the lead with nine minutes to go in the second on a Barah Yapar (16 points, eight rebounds) free throw 20-19. 

Trogele would reclaim the lead for Germany seconds later by hitting a jump shot.

Germany would maintain the lead but could never get further ahead than seven points.  

Durdane Gumusay (15 points, eight rebounds) hit two free throws to cut the lead to four going into halftime (36-32).

The third period opened with the teams trading baskets until Turkey took the lead (45-42) on a Yelda Canitez 8 (16 points, 12 reboudns) triple with six to play in the quarter.

Yapar followed with two jumpers and Canitez scored again to put their team up 55-46. 

Germany didn't score in the fourth quarter till the 6:40 mark when Greunke hit a jumper to pull them to within ten points (58-48). 

But a Gumusay bomb from beyond the arc seconds later crushed any hopes of a German comeback.  

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