Italy required a victory against Lithuania for a possible direct qualification. If they had lost, Croatia would have been secured 2nd place without playing this evening.
It was the turn of Marte Alexander to lead the Italian attack with almost perfect shooting. She finished the night with 21 points, hitting 8 of her 9 shots from the field.
Lithuania, playing their last game of the qualifiers, appeared to have everything under control going into the final quarter leading (65-56) to the delight of the home fans.
Yet Italy started to come back right from the start of the final quarter with Giorgia Sottana landing a three-pointer. Raffaella Masciadri and Kathrin Ress continued to bring their side closer and finally as the game entered money-time Alexander fired in the 7th three-pointer of night to regain the lead (78-77).
Egle Sulciute Stakneviciene managed to get the advantage back for the hosts from the free-throw line before Maria Franchini sealed the victory with a 3-point play (and 1).
Masciadri and Ress scored 12 points apiece while Sottana contributed 10 points in the Italian victory (83-81).
For Lithuania Sandra Linkeviciene was the leading scorer with 17 points.
For Italy to qualify they must beat the Netherlands in their last game while Croatia must lose to Belgium.
The Netherlands got past Belgium (91-88) in a tension packed game. Belgium who were without Kathy Wambe had a first quarter to forget trailing (19-29).
However Belgium picked themselves up during the second quarter and made up the deficit to lead briefly. But they were unable to maintain their momentum.
The Netherlands were back in front by the time of the half-time break.
The Netherlands got themselves back on track as they dominated the third quarter and looked all set for victory leading (74-61) with eight minutes to play.
Yet the Benelux derby swung in favour of Belgium who were back in front through Ann Wauters with less than a minute to play.
Leonie Kooij (left) who finished the game with 39 points and 10 rebounds, restored the advantage for the Netherlands from the charity stripes. She then finished the night with a three-pointer.
Wauters was again the leading scorer for Belgium with 23 points.
The fate of both countries will be decided this weekend: defeat for the Netherlands means that they will finish bottom of the group.
Serbia dominated Romania for most of the game and yet required a pair of free-thows by Jovana Vukoje to win the match (85-83). However Jelena Milovanovic's 25 points was the key factor in their victory.
Romania are not easy to manoeuvre at home and started to rally back during the third quarter with a 14-4 run to reduce their defict (57-61) going into the final quarter.
Gabriela Marginean who led the Romanian attack with 25 points completed the comeback with a three-pointer that gave her team the lead for 15 seconds.
Yet Milovanovic hit back for Serbia before the teams traded basket for basket with the lead changing hands six times in a pulsating finish.
In the other group game Latvia required double overtime to get past their hosts Israel (83-82). Elina Babkina secured the victory by splitting a pair from the charity stripes right at the end of the second overtime.
Ieva Kublina top scored with 20 points while Zane Tamane had 19 points and also collected 15 rebounds for Latvia.
Liron Cohen fired in 24 points for Israel.
Depending on the results on the final day the calculator may have to be used to determine which team misses out on direct qualification for EuroBasket Women 2011.