Spain Win Decided In The Second Half

SPAIN 71 – SLOVAKIA 54

Slovakia set a game with a lot of intensity on defense, their trade mark in this tournament and scoring more consistently than in previous games. Spain struggled to score the whole game and traded baskets with Slovakia during the whole first quarter. Elisa Aguilar and Anna Montañana lead Spain with 6 points apiece while all the players contributed for Slovakia ending the first quarter 17-16 for Spain after a buzzer beater trey from Alba Torrens.

The second quarter was all about the same. Zuzana Zirkova started the quarter with a trey to make it 19-17 for Slovakia, but Anna Cruz scored 5 straight points to regain the lead for Spain, 22-19, but Slovakia answered with 5 more points -a three from Ivana Jalkova and two points from Martina Gyurcsi, regaining the lead, 24-22 after 4 minutes. With 4:30 for the break Katarina Hrickova gave Slovakia their last lead of the game, 29-26, and from then on Spain began finding its game. Anna Cruz sparked an 11-1 run in the last minutes capped by Laia Palau and heading into the lockers 37-30 ahead.

After the break Spain wore down Slovakia. Anna Montañana scored the first four points of the quarter making it 41-30. Romana Vynuchalova and Matiana Gyurcsi scored back to back baskets to make it 41-34, with Spain still struggling in the offense but the improvement on the defensive end and in the rebounding was key for Spain since they took control of the game however teams traded until the end of the quarter, entering the fourth 53-40 ahead after a three pointer from 53-40 Anna Montañana.

Teams still struggled in the fourth. Zuzana Zirkova and Romana Vynuchalova scored back to back baskets, 53-44, but after that Anna Montañana started a 6-0 run capped by Laia Palau to make it 59-44 and close the game. The ensuing trade lasted until the end of the game. Spain had a biggest lead of 17 pts (66-49) and Elisa Aguilar closed the game with a three pointer making it 71-54.

For Spain Anna Montañana scored 24 pts and Elisa Aguilar 21.

For Slovakia Zuzana Zirkova had 9 pts. Martina Gyurcsi 8 pts and 8 boards and Katarina Hrickova added 8 pts

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