|Vita Gorobets set the early initiative for the Ukraine victory|
Ukraine jumped out to an early lead which was never overturned as they began the U20 European Championship Women with a 59-51 victory over Sweden in Udine on Thursday.
Turning Point: Vita Gorobets' lay-up early in the opening period sparked a 9-0 run which would see Ukraine open up a 22-9 lead by the end of the first quarter and seize the upper hand in the game. Sweden did what they could to respond and, at one stage, appeared to be back in it. But, ultimately, they had left themselves too much to do.
Game Hero: Tetyana Antonyuk was the standout performer for Ukraine. She scored 11 points but perhaps more importantly, pulled down 17 rebounds, 13 of them defensive, which meant Sweden were never able to put together a sequence of second chance points to pull themselves back into the game.
Stats Don't Lie: Sweden missed 11 consecutive three pointers, until Gabriella Hanson made one in the closing stages of the fourth quarter. This inability to score from range didn't help Sweden's cause, particularly when Antonyuk was reeling in so many defensive rebounds.
The Bottom Line: Sweden will take heart from the way they fought back in this game, almost pulling off a great escape, and will go into Friday knowing what to work on. Ukraine meanwhile will look ahead to a meeting with fellow opening day victors Serbia.