Ukraine Stood Up The First Two Quarters

SPAIN 85 – UKRAINE 59

Spain came out strong with an 8-0 run playing comfortably against Ukraine. Volodymyr Brykhovetsky seeing the disaster on the horizon called time out to change the game’s evolution. His team’s defense improved and they began trading baskets with the Spanish who began to struggle in the shooting while the Ukrainians slowly were closing the gap to, with 1:28 remaining, level the score, 13-13. Anna Montañana scored tight after to make it 15-13 but none of the teams would score in the last minutes of the quarter.

Ukraine kept on playing good defense in the second with the Spanish team on target since they hadn’t a lead higher than four points in the first 4 minutes, struggling a lot in front Ukraine’s defense. Inna Kobuchey put Ukraine into one point with a trey in minute four. That’s when Luci Pascua entered the court, and when things changed. Since Spain couldn’t play fast break or transition, the back court looked inside the pain where they found Pascua and Nicholls who scored 12 from the next 14 pts from Spain to put ahead 34-24 with 45 seconds for the break. Pascua scored 8 points herself taking advantage of the rooms created by her back court mates. Liubov Alyokshina made it 34-26 but in 30 seconds Isa Sánchez scored five straight points -2 freebies and a buzzer beater trey- to send Spain 39-26 ahead, clearly regaining the control of the game

After the break Spain took complete control of the game, although Ukraine won’t give up, and Spain began playing its traditional fast break and transition basketball and adding points to their lead. After Inna Kobuchey made it 46-34, and with 5 minutes remaining Spain gave the final blow with an 8-2 run in the next 2:30 to put Spain 54-36 ahead with 2:30 remaining. From then on the victory was never in question, especially after Laia Palau and Silvia Domínguez made a final 9-2 run sparked by a trey from Palau and capped by Domínguez to enter the fourth 63-46 ahead after a basket from Olga Dubrovina in the late seconds.

Silvia Domínguez was outstanding in the last quarter. She scored the 5 first points of the quarter – to sum up 9 in the fourth- and leading perfectly her team. The whole team took parti in the game in the fourth always answering the trials of Ukraine to make a Comeback and taking the victory with a final score of 85-59 after a last basket from Laura Nicholls.

The team effort displayed by Spain was on the stat sheet. 6 players reached double figures. Silvia Domínguez was the leading scorer with pts, Laura Nicholls, Cindy Lima, Luci Pascua, Laia Palau and Anna Montañana added 10 apiece and Aba Torrens had 6 pts and 7 boards, with Isa Sánchez adding 7 pts and 5 assists. Spain outrebounded Ukraine 37-22.

For Ukraine Iryna Biryuk had 16 pts -12 of them in the second half. And Olena Ogorodnikova added 10.

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