Serbia, Italy Roll In Group B

Serbia and Italy both started out Group B play with blow-outs of Bulgaria and Montenegro.

Serbia crushed Bulgaria 91-48 in the opening game of Group B and sent out a message to any would-be doubters that they are a serious contender to take home the gold from Gdynia.

Bulgaria turned the ball over 20 times in the contest and just managed to make 36% of their shots against a dominate Serbian defense.

Hristina Ivanova was the only Bulgarian who broke out of single digits with 11 points.

Serbia, on the other hand, had five players in double figures.

Sonja Petrovic and Ana Dabovic led the way with 14 points, while Latinka Dusanic, Nina Bogicevic and Nevena Jovanovic all notched twelve a piece.

The game was effectively over before the first quarter buzzer sounded.

Serbia bulldozed Bulgaria on both sides of the court during the first seven minutes of the game, breaking out to an eye-popping 26-0 lead before Daniela Peteva could score Bulgaria's first two points with 2:42 left in the first quarter.

The first quarter ended with Serbia up 35-4.

Bulgaria would react and actually win the second quarter partial, 19-16, but Serbia's advantage was so large that it was hard to notice.

Serbia was paced by ten points a piece from Bogicevic and Dobevic while Sonja Petrovic chipped in 8 points in a half that saw their team shoot a collective64%, hand out 12 assists and pull in 32 rebounds between them.

Petar Markovic's squad led 51-23 at the halftime break.

The second half resembled the opening quarter with Serbia increasing their advantage.

A three-pointer by Dusanic at the 4:11 mark gave her team their biggest lead of the game of 45 points.

From there, Serbia coasted on to the win.

Italy down Montenegro with 31-13 second quarter

Italy trounced a turnover plagued Montenegro (91-64) to claim its first victory in Group B play.

Two big runs in second quarter decided game in Italy's favour.

Two big runs and some amazing shooting by Sabrina Striuli who had 21 points going 7-of-8 from two-point range, 1-of-1 from beyond the three point land and a perfect 4-of-4 from the charity stripe.

Montenegro coughed the ball up an amazing 27 times, negating their 35-22 advantage on the boards.

The first ten minutes ended with Italy up one point (13-12), promising a close, defensive-minded game. That turned out to be an illusion, at least as far as Italy went.

Milica Jovanovic (game-high 26 points) put Montenegro up 14-13 on a tip at the beginning of the second.

Then Italy went on a 13-point run, powered by nine points in the stretch from Striuli to put Italy up 27-14 before Snezana Aleksic (15 points) finally hit a three pointer to end Montenegro's draught at the 6:39 mark.

Italy and Montengro proceeded to trade baskets before Italy hit them with another scoring spurt. Over a two-minute period the Italians ran off seven unanswered and a three pointer by Viviana Giordano sent them into the halftime break up 44-25.

Even though Montenegro would manage to scrap back to within 15, Italy went on to cruise to victory.

Montenegro face Bulgaria, both 0-1, tomorrow, while Italy will take on fellow winner Serbia.




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