Rampant Russia Storm Into Semi-Finals

03 August 2012

U18 WOMEN

Turning Point: Italy started slowly but having worked themselves back into the game at 18-14, they didn't take their second chance and allowed Russia to post a devastating 22-8 run which, by half-time, had killed off any realistic chance the Italians had of ever winning the game.

Game Hero: It was another impressive Russian team performance but Alexandra Marchenkova probably just shaded everyone else with 12 points, nine rebounds and three blocks.

Stats Don't Lie: If you need any proof of how much in control Russia was during the first two quarters, then look no further than an eye-popping 38 first-half rebounds. Meanwhile Italy barely shot 20 percent from the floor which won't win you many games.

9. Alexandra Marchenkova (Russia)
Alexandra Marchenkova had 12 points, nine rebounds and three blocks for Russia, as they clinched a spot in the semi-finals in style

Russia made light work of despatching Italy as they coasted into the Semi-Finals of the U18 European Championship Women courtesy of a 64-42 success in Bucharest.

Dominant during the first half, when they put the building blocks in place which facilitated the victory, Russia simply had too much for Italy all over the floor.

They controlled pretty much everything on the glass, giving Italy few second chance opportunities and playing aggressive defence.

At the other end of the floor, they were able to pick their opponent apart easily on offence and consequently when they hit the locker rooms at the break, they were sitting pretty with a commanding 40-22 lead.

Italy has been a Jekyll and Hyde team throughout the tournament and sure enough, during the second half, they came out fighting but unlike their previous game against the Netherlands, there was to be no dramatic comeback.

They cut the gap to ten points at the start of the final quarter after scoring the first eleven points of the period, but Russia survived this wobble to coast home with a late surge.

Only Elena Ramo truly did herself justice for Italy with a 15 point haul while in addition to Marchenkova, Albina Razheva also impressed for Russia with nine points and ten rebounds.

Russia play the winner of Spain and Serbia in Saturday's semi-final.


 


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