Russia 74 Ukraine 53

20 September 2003

Maria Stepanova had an outstanding game with 22 points and 15 rebounds
Russia answered their critics with a dominating performance against the Ukraine on Saturday night to get their European Championships back on track in Greece.

One day after a fourth-quarter collapse allowed Slovakia to come from behind and claim the unlikeliest of upsets against them, Russia demolished the Ukraine 74-53.

Elena Baranova and Maria Stepanova, the two biggest reasons why the Russians are favoured to win this tournament, were monsters against the Ukraine.

Baranova's physical presence in the low post meant that every shot by the Ukraine was contested.

They made 20 of 73 from the field.

Stepanova, meanwhile, was outstanding at the other end, hurting the opponents with her drop step move in the lane which led to a handful of baskets, and her mid-range jump shot.

She finished with 22 points on eight-of-11 shooting, and made all six of her shots from the free throw line.

Baranova, who blocked three shots on the night, was also a menace on the offensive end with 13 points.

Stepanova (15 rebounds) and Baranova (11) also controlled the boards.

Russia outrebounded the Ukraine 50-31.

Ilona Korstine had an outstanding night for the Russians, scoring 16 points.

The Ukraine fell behind in the first quarter by 10 points and shaved that to six by half-time.

But Russia never looked seriously threatened after the intermission, and particularly in the fourth quarter when an offensive drought saw the Ukrainians score just six points.


28.09.2003 - From Jeff Taylor, PA International, Patras
28.09.2003 - From Jeff Taylor, PA International, Patras

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