RIO DE JANEIRO (AP) — Anna Cruz scored 13 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as Spain pulled out a 65-59 victory Sunday over Serbia in the Olympic opener for both teams.
Marta Xargay also scored 15 points for Spain, which is back in the Olympics for the first time since 2008. That’s when the Spaniards finished fourth for their best finish in the Olympics.
Astou Ndour added 11 points and 12 rebounds for Spain.
The Serbians made quite an impression in their Olympic debut with their up-tempo style of play. Serbia pulled within 62-59 on a layup by Jelena Milovanovic with 19 seconds to go, but Spain sealed the game as Laura Nicholls hit a free throw, and Ndour scored to finish off the win.
The difference in the game may have been rebounding and free throws. Spain had a 47-35 edge in rebounds and made more free throws (16 of 21) than Serbia attempted (10 of 14).