Spain work over-time in beating Italy

14 August 2008

Mariona Ortiz made two foul shots with six seconds left in over-time to give Spain a 61-57 victory over Italy to grab first place in the Qualifying Round Group F of the Termosteps U16 European Championship Women.

Amaia Segues poured in 15 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as Spain improved to 5-0 in the group. Oritz added 13 points while Marina Delgado had 12 and Yurena Diaz tallied 11.

Jose Ignacio Hernandez's Spaniards held Italy to just 32 percent shooting for the game and now await their opponent in Saturday's semi-finals in Katowice.

Gaia Gorini (Italy)
Gaia Gorini (Italy) scored 10 points

Italy lost their first game of tournament in dropping to 4-1 in the group and will take on France in the semi-finals. Irene Cigliani paced Giovanni Lucchesi's Italians with 17 points while Gaia Gorini had 10 points.

Spain started cold offensively and went scoreless in the first three minutes with Italy jumping ahead 5-0. Ortiz would knock down two three-pointers and Delgado hit from long range as well as Spain completed a 15-5 surge. And Hernandez's side led 15-12 after one period. Farah Suarez pushed the advantage to 18-12 before Italy went on a 7-0 run to pull ahead. Delgado and Beatrice Carta swapped triples the rest of the way and Spain went into the break ahead 25-24.

Spain remained ahead early in the second half until Cigliani converted a rare four-point play to push Italy in front 34-33. The lead switch hands three times before Spain led 38-37 after three periods. The Italians led 42-40 but Diaz hit two three-pointers. Gorini answered the second triple but Queralt Casas struck right back from long range and Spain's lead was 49-45. Hernandez's Spaniards were held scoreless their final five possessions and Cigliani knotted the game at 49-49 on a foul shot with 1:30 left in regulation. Elisabet Vivas missed a game-winning attempt for Spain with one second left to force over-time.

Alessandra Formica started the extra session for Itlay and the lead switched hands five more times as Ortiz made it 56-55. After Italy failed to score despite two offensive rebounds, Delgado knocked down a three-ball with 1:23 to play. Debora Carangelo's foul shots cut the deficit to 59-57 with seven seconds left but Ortiz iced the game with two free throws a second later.

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