|16 August 2012|
|Alexandra Stolyar was the only Russian player to score in double figures, finishing the game with 13 points|
Russia tipped off their U20 European Championship Women campaign with a hard fought 55-49 success in Group D against a resilient Great Britain.
The depleted British team entered the tournament without a number of key players but produced an impressively dogged display against an opponent widely tipped to as contenders to finish on the podium.
Falling behind 20-11, Great Britain initially looked like potential blowout candidates but they played with composure against a Russia team who is likely to improve as the competition unfolds.
One of the most engaging aspects of a rugged contest was the battle in the paint between Russian centre Ksenia Tikhonenko and her 1995 born counterpart Cheridene Green.
The Great Britain player did a fine job on debut at this level and it was her free-throws which made it a one-shot game at 36-34.
But, just when the Brits were dreaming of an unlikely success, Alexandra Stolyar made a deep three-pointer to get Russia rolling again.
Then, midway through the final quarter, Stolyar struck again from outside to finally kill-off any realistic chance Great Britain had of causing an upset - even if they did briefly cut the gap to just five points inside the last minute.