Spain Reign After Fourth Quarter Rampage



15. Anna Cruz (Spain)
Anna Cruz led Spain in scoring with 15 points, most of which came in the deciding fourth quarter

Spain stunned Romania with a 16-0 run to start the fourth quarter and pulled away for a 68-51 victory.

In the EuroBasket Women Qualification Round Group D clash, the Spaniards had a 31-22 lead four minutes into the second quarter but weren't able to press home the advantage.

Instead Romania clawed their way back and trailed 37-32 at the break.

At half-time, Ancuta Stoenescu had 10 points and Gabriela Marginean eight for the hosts.

Anna Montanana had eight of her 14 points for Spain at half-time.

In the third quarter, Romania stepped up their defense and that, along with poor execution on offense by Lucas Mondelo's side, saw the hosts outscore the visitors 13-4 for a 45-41 lead.

Romania did not seize the golden opportunity, though, and that was due in large part to Spanish duo Amaya Valdemoro and Anna Cruz.

Valdemoro started the fourth quarter with a jump shot and after Montanana followed with another, Valdemoro and Cruz each knocked down three-pointers.

Cruz and Valdemoro then had three-point plays for a 57-45 Spain advantage with 5:48 to play.

Romania's offense grounded to a halt as Spain became far more active on the defensive end in the last frame.

Crucial for Spain was the interior play of Laura Nicholls, who showed signs of stardom when helping Rivas Ecopolis reach the EuroLeague Women Final this season.

Nicholls dominated the boards, pulling down a game-high 10 rebounds.

Spain, who improved to 3-1 with the victory, ended up out-rebounding Romania, 51-31.

Cruz led the visitors with 15 points and Valdemoro scored 10.

Stoenescu had 16 points for Romania, who have lost two straight since opening the Qualification Round with a home victory over Sweden.