Rodriguez Ortego Helps Spain Advance to Euro Semifinals
Yaiza Rodriguez Ortego

July 11, 2014

UDINE, Italy - Yaiza Rodriguez Ortego and her Spain national team defeated Poland 49-35 Friday afternoon to advance to the semifinals of the 2014 FIBA U20 European Championship. Boise State's Rodriguez Ortego played 17 minutes recording two points and one rebound against the Poles.
  
Next up for Rodriguez Ortego and her team is an encounter with tournament host Italy Saturday afternoon.


Game Recap, courtesy of FIBAEurope.com

Spain Push Out Poland
UDINE, Italy - Spain put the pressure on Poland at the start of each half before coasting to a 49-35 win in Udine on Friday to secure their spot in the semi-finals of the U20 European Championship Women.

Turning Point: Poland failed to capitalize when Spain struggled without their stars in the second quarter and when the reigning champions ended the barren run with a three-point buzzer beater it was clear they had seen out the worst and would only improve.

Game Hero: Astou Ndour received her 2013 FIBA Europe Young Women's Player of the Year award before tip off and lived up to her billing with 16 points, 14 rebounds and three blocks. However, although unlikely to feature in any highlights, the contribution of Laura Quevedo was hugely important in what, at times, was a scrappy game.

Stats Don't Lie: A result of Spain's patches of high-pressure shooting and poor offensive execution, Poland's 20% shooting performance was never going to be enough to beat the reigning champions.

Spain started in much the same manner that saw them dismantle Turkey two nights previously, jumping into a 6-0 lead and allowing just one field goal in the first quarter.

But things were less straightforward in the second period as Leticia Romero, Yaiza Rodriguez and Ndour all found themselves in foul trouble and, as a result, Spain struggled to get their offence going.

Poland struck back in eight scoreless Spanish minutes to move back within a point - but missed too many shots - before Carolina Esparcia ended the drought with a nice move to the hoop and Maria Arrojo beat the half-time buzzer with a big three to put Spain up 23-17.

Spain took that impetus into the second half and started with the defensive intensity that had served them so well earlier in the game. This saw them get out on the break and make the most of Poland's misses.

When Arrojo beat another buzzer, this time the shot clock, in the final minute of the third period, it opened up a 39-21 gap and all but ended the game as a contest.


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