Rodriguez Ortego and Spain Win Group at European Championship
Yaiza Rodriguez Ortego.

July 5, 2014

Udine, Italy - Boise State’s Yaiza Rodriguez Ortego and her Spanish national team rallied from 15 points down Saturday afternoon to defeat Latvia 72-66 to finish the group stage of the 2014 U20 FIBA European Women’s Basketball Championship undefeated at 3-0. Spain now moves into the second phase of group play starting on July 7th in Udine, Italy.

Rodriguez Ortego came up big against Latvia in the final two minutes of the game on Saturday to help Spain rally for the win. Spain trailed nearly the entire contest and by as many as 15 points, 26-11, late in the first quarter. The Spaniards slowly chipped away at the deficit taking their first lead with 2:39 left in the fourth quarter on a jumper by Leticia Romero to give Spain a 67-66 advantage.

With 2:02 to play Romero fouled out, Spain brought Rodriguez Ortego back into the game. She helped shutout Latvia in the final two minutes with a pair of big defensive rebounds following blocks by her teammates. The Boise State sophomore then clinched the victory for Spain, the three-time defending U20 European champions, by hitting a clutch 3-pointer with 36 seconds left to give Spain the final six-point 72-66 victory margin. She finished the contest with five points, five rebounds and two steals in nearly 21 minutes of action.

In the previous two games played in the first group stage Rodriguez Ortego recorded two points, one rebound, one assist and one steal in 23 minutes to help Spain defeat France 48-42 in the opening game on July 3.

The second game played July 4 was a 17-point 55-38 victory over Greece. During that contest Rodriguez Ortego scored six points to go with two rebounds, two assists and three steals in 23 minutes of action.

The second stage of the tournament, which is being held in its entirety at Udine, starts July 7 when Rodriguez Ortego and Spain take on the Czech Republic followed by Russia on July 8th and Turkey on July 9th. The championship round begins on July 11th with the quarterfinals, while the championship contest is schedule for July 13.

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