EUROBASKET WOMEN QUALIFIERS
|Ilaria Zanoni sparked Italy as the Azzurre finished a successful qualification campaign with a win|
Italy finished their EuroBasket Women Qualification Round with a resounding victory at Finland on Saturday.
Led by 26-year-old Ilaria Zanoni, who had 21 points, the Azzurre romped to an 82-62 triumph in Group E.
Italy ended their campaign with seven wins and just one defeat.
The Finns battled hard and had a 21-16 lead with 1:55 to go in the opening frame.
The Italians reeled off the next six points to carry a one-point advantage into the second quarter.
Finland only faced a 45-41 deficit early in the second half after their scoring machine Taru Tuukkanen made a basket to take her points haul to 16.
Another Tuukkanen basket pulled the Finns to within 51-45 with 5:28 to go in the third quarter.
After the teams traded three-pointers, Raffaella Masciadri made a lay-up and Sabrina Cinili a jumper to push the Italians 10 points clear.
They ended up outscoring the home side, 24-16, in the quarter for a 67-54 advantage.
Italy's defense then reigned supreme in the fourth, limiting Finland to just eight points.
Roberto Ricchini's Italy lost their first game of the Qualification Round at Latvia but then won seven in a row.
The Latvians also booked a trip to the Final Round in France next year with a second-place finish in Group E.
Finland fought hard this summer but ended up with three wins and five defeats.