Rising Spain End Lithuanian Streak

14 July 2014

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7. Dario Brizuela (Spain)
Dario Brizuela kept his cool in crunch time, sinking the game-winner for Spain

Spain held off a late assault by Lithuania to clinch a 65-62 win in the clash that concluded Group E Day 1 action in the Second Round of the U20 European Championship.

Turning Point: Spain had built themselves a comfy-looking 16-point advantage late in the third quarter, only for Lithuania to chip away at it, slowly but surely, during the fourth. Marius Grigonis converted an and-one play to tie the scores at 62 with 1:03 remaining and Spain's Dario Brizuela was blocked on the other end. Grigonis however this time missed on his potential go-ahead jumper and Brizuela found redemption in the best possible way, sinking a triple with just over a second left that gifted Spain the victory.

Game Hero: Spain were trailing 13-14 late in the first when Edgar Vicedo drilled two back-to-back triples to spark the burst that put Spain in the driver's seat and he again hit decisive shots in the third to help the Spanish gain their biggest cushion. Vicedo finished with a game-high 19 points on 8-for-12 from the floor.

Stats Don't Lie: The two opponents were quite closely matched in most statistical categories but Spain were the only ones to enjoy brief spells of easy scoring in the open floor. The Spanish scored nine points on the fast break, Lithuania none.

The Bottom Line: Spain had entered the Second Round with a 0-2 record and this win will serve to kickstart their quest for a place in the quarter-finals. Lithuania have dropped to 2-1 but still lead the group, together with Serbia and Slovenia.

 


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