Russia 65 Hungary 55


Elena Baranova
Russia edged past Hungary in another tense, hardfought Group B encounter at the European Championships.

Maria Stepanova turned in another solid performance with 15 points and 12 rebounds as Russia came back from a 39-37 deficit at half-time to win 65-55.

Russia, since losing their opener to Slovakia, have reeled off three successive wins and are now in the quarter-finals.

The situation is full of uncertainty for Hungary, who have had trouble scoring points in this tournament.

Never was that more evident than the third and fourth quarters against Russia when they managed to put a total of just 16 points on the board.

Krisztina Papp, whose inclusion in the Hungary squad was only finalised late on as she was bothered by a foot injury, had scored just four points in a previous game against Belgium. In 16 minutes against the Russians she had 12 points and four rebounds.

That is not much consolation for Laszlo Ratgeber, the Hungary coach, who must now figure out a way to beat the in-form Slovaks on Wednesday in their final group game.

They are hoping to beat Belgium to fourth place in Group B.

Both sides have one win, and the Belgians take on the Ukraine in their final game.

Fourth place guarantees a place in the quarter-finals.


24.09.2003 - Jeff Taylor PA Sport

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