Spain Back To Winning Ways

24.06.2011

EuroBasket Women 2011

Turning Point: Latvia trailed 32-30 midway through the third quarter before Spain went on a 18-6 run for a 50-36 lead with nine minutes remaining.

Game Hero: Spain´s Sancho Lyttle had 16 points on eight for 12 shooting (67%). She also pulled down nine rebounds, dished out two assists, came up with four steals and blocked one shot.

Stats Don't Lie: Spain out-rebounded Latvia, 40-35. Spain got 22 points as a result of Latvia´s 19 turnovers. Both teams struggled shooting the ball from behind the arc, with Spain finishing three-for-22 (14%) while Latvia were four-for-17 (24 %).



Spain hit back from their fourth-quarter horror show against France and beat Latvia on Friday.

In the Round 2 game played in Katowice, Sancho Lyttle, Laia Palau and Anna Montanana provided the firepower as Spain won 66-57 against a Latvian side that had already clinched a spot in the Quarter-Final Round.

The Spaniards will now be hoping that Poland do them a favor and beat Croatia because a victory for hosts in the second game of the day in Katowice would punch Spain's ticket to the next phase of the competition.

Victory came at a cost for Spain, however.

Already without small forward and veteran Amaya Valdemoro due to a calf injury, Marta Xargay sprained her right ankle in the second half.

Xargay, Spain's youngest player at 20, is one of their best defenders and was becoming more and more influential with every game played.

She is now an uncertainty for Sunday's game against Croatia.

Spain walked of the floor on Wednesday not knowing what had hit them.

They had led by two points going into the last quarter against France but the defending EuroBasket Women champions outscored them 33-7 over the last 10 minutes and won, 79-55.

On Friday, Spain's pressure forced Latvia to turn the ball over 19 times and Jose Ignacio Hernandez's team capitalized by scoring 22 points off those turnovers.

Latvia overcame an early 6-0 deficit and briefly led by two in the second quarter.

With the contest tied in the final minute of the second quarter, Xargay hit two free-throws and then Lyttle hit a jumper as Spain took a 27-23 lead to the break.

On top 35-32 after an Elina Babkina jumper for Latvia, Spain took command for good with Aguilar hitting a jump shot from just inside the free-throw line and then the extremely active Palau stealing the ball from Liene Jansone and going in for a lay-up.

Montanana added a lay-up and following Ieva Kublina's basket for Latvia, Aguilar drilled one of Spain's three shots from the arc for a 44-34 lead.

Spain went in front by 14 points in the third quarter before recording a nine-point triumph.

Spain's Lyttle and Montanana had 16 points apiece with the former also grabbing nine rebounds and the latter handing out six assists.

Palau was excellent, scoring 10 points and corralling eight boards.

Lyttle had four steals and Palau three with Spain coming up with 13 as a team.

Babkina had a game-high 17 points in defeat.

 


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