Spain Reign Against Poland

20 June 2011
EuroBasket Women 2011

Turning Point: Poland cut the deficit 62-58 with less than six minutes remaining but Spain scored seven unanswered points to take command, 69-58.

Game Hero: Spain´s Laia Palau came up with five of her team´s 11 steals. She contributed with 12 points and dished out four assists.

Stats Don´t Lie: Poland center Ewelina Kobryn finished with a game-high 20 points but Spain held scoreless in the final quarter. Thirty six of Spain's points came from their bench players. Poland turned the ball over 23 times while Spain had just eight turnovers.

Poland fought hard but Spain prevailed in the battle for second place of EuroBasket Women Group C on Monday night.

The Poles, fresh off their triumph over Germany, got 20 points and 13 rebounds from center Ewelina Kobryn but the Sancho Lyttle of old showed up for Spain and led her team with 18 points in a 78-63 victory.

Lyttle had not played well in her first two games after missing all of Spain's preparations while on WNBA duty with the Atlanta Dream but she looked every bit the player who was voted to the All-Star Five at the FIBA World Championship for Women last year in the Czech Republic.

The final score didn't do justice to Poland, who like Spain had already clinched a spot in Round 2 after the first two games.

They were level at 50-50 with just one quarter remaining.

Spanish youngster Marta Xargay buried a three-pointer to start the last period and after Agnieszka Kaczmarczyk replied with a basket down low for the Poles, Alba Torrens hit the hosts hard twice.

She scored on a drive and then following a steal by Lucila Pascua, Torrens sprinted ahead of the pack, caught a pass by Pascua and made a lay-up.

Pascua then stretched the advantage to 59-52 with two free-throws.

Though Justyna Zurowska gave Poland hope with a three-ball, Elisa Aguilar went to the other end for Spain and shot a shot from the arc.

After a Poland timeout, Paulina Pawlak hit a three to again reduce the arrears to four but they couldn't stop Spain.

Lyttle hit a jumper on the fastbreak to spark a 7-0 run that gave the Spaniards a 69-58 advantage with 4:21 to go.

Poland never threatened again.

Dariusz Maciejewski's team played some of their best basketball of the tournament but their 23 turnovers were costly, leading to 17 points for Spain.

Jose Ignacio Hernandez had to rest his veteran Amaya Valdemoro for a second consecutive game due to a calf injury and Cindy Lima's ailing back also kept her out.

But Pascua was excellent and had eight points, seven rebounds and three assists in less than 18 minutes.

Torrens continued her outstanding play with 17 points and Elisa Aguilar had 11.

Laia Palau also made her presence felt in the Spodek Arena by hitting a beyond half-court three-pointer not just once, but twice!

She did it the first time at the end of the first quarter that helped swing the momentum to Spain, and then again before the fourth-quarter buzzer.

Palau finished with 12 points and most importantly a game-high five steals.


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