U20 Women Group F
Italy got their U20 European Championship Women qualifying round campaign off to a winning start with a tense 44-36 victory over Great Britain.
|Federica Tognalini sparked Italy with 13 points, also coralling 10 rebounds|
In a low scoring tussle, Italy scored the final five points to take the win as the Brits looked for three-pointers and came up empty.
Italy looked dominant in the early going, jumping out to a 13-3 lead in the opening eight minutes, but Britain rallied before half-time, and a pair of free throws from Temi Fagbenle saw them go to the locker rooms trailing by only one, 21-20.
Britain briefly led in the third quarter, but Italy had pulled out a six-point advantage, 33-27, when Laura Spreafico sank a free throw late in the third quarter.
Although they kept battling, Britain grew frustrated with their inability to close the gap, and looked for three-pointers.
One from Katrin Chiemeka had them within three, 39-36, with 3:22 to go, but they would get no closer.
Overall, Britain shot a dismal three-for-21 (14.3%) from long-range. Italy were actually worse from long-range at one-for-17 (5.9%).
Federica Tognalini and Alessandra Tava had 13 points each for Italy, while Chiemeka was the only Brit in double figures with 10 points.