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Group:  C | 08.06.2009, 18:00h
Group:  C | 08.06.2009, 18:00h
37-72
7 - 189 - 148 - 2113 - 19
7 - 189 - 148 - 2113 - 19
Venue: Valmiera |
Spectators: 850 |
Referees: Georgios Tanatzis (GRE), Vicente Bulto (ESP), Grzegorz Bachanski (POL)

GAME REPORT


Russia Roll Over Serbia

Reigning champions Russia rolled their way into the 2009 EuroBasket Women Qualifying Round with another dominating defensive display in a 72-37 victory over Serbia.


Valeriy Tikhonenko's Russians started the game on an 11-0 run while holding Serbia without a basket for nearly the first seven minutes and never looked back.

"We were really prepared for this game. We didn't want to have a surprise from Serbia so we took them very seriously," said Tiknonenko, whose team out-rebounded Serbia 41-20 and held them to 26 percent shooting.

"They were better than us in every aspect, and they deserved to win this game," said Serbian coach Jovica Antonic.

"Everything you see in the stats show they deserved the win with that margin. We didn't concentrate on this game. It was better than yesterday (against Lithuania) but it was not enough to beat Russia," added Serbian power forward Jelena Milovanovic, who along with Miljana Musovic led the team in scoring with just six points.

Every Russian player scored while Tatiana Shchegoleva, Ilona Korstin and Svetlana Abrosimova led the way with 11 points each and Marina Kuzina had 10.

Russia improved to 2-0 in the Preliminary Round Group C to book their spot in the next stage in Riga while Serbia dropped to 0-2 and must beat Turkey by 13 points to advance.

Shchegoleva admitted that the Russian team was thinking about Serbia's upset at the 2007 EuroBasket Women - which proved the Russians' only loss on their way to the title in Italy.

"We remember our game with Serbia two years ago. So we went into this game very seriously, really preparing well and doing our video work," said the forward.

The Russians started out with their usual smothering defense as Serbia could not get Sonja Petrovic any room to get off a high percentage shot, and Maria Stepanova's basket two minutes into the game already gave her more points than she scored in the opener.

Abrosimova knocked down a three-pointer and Stepanova scored two more baskets in helping Russia to an 11-0 lead.

Milovanovic finally got Serbia on the scoreboard with two foul shots with 5:33 left in the first quarter.

It would be more than two more minutes before the Serbs hit their first field goal on Musovic's tough layup with 3:19 to play in the period. But that would be Antonic's team's only basket of the quarter with Russia leading 18-7 after 10 minutes.

Olga Arteshina's free throws pushed the lead to 13 points early in the second quarter. And it was 16 points - 28-12 - Tatiana Shchegoleva's three-pointer.

Musovic then snuck behind the defense for an easy layup to break another four-minute basket-less stretch. Marina Karpunina's fast break lay-in extended the gap to 18 points - 32-14 - before Ana Perovic's hook shot at the buzzer ended another four minutes without a point for a 32-16 Russia advantage at the break.

Antonic brought on point guard Maja Miljkovic to start the second half for her first action of the tournament. But it had little impact on the outcome.

Perovic opened the third period with a score but Russia answered with the next eight points and the lead was 22 points, 40-18.

Musovic's lay-up ended the Russian run at the 7:28 mark but it proved to be Serbia's last basket of the quarter. And Ekaterina Lisina came off the bench to block a shot and score four points in an 8-0 run to close the third period for a 53-24 Russia lead.

"I think we played really good defense. We did a good job helping each other. When we help each other and play together it's easier for us," said Lisina.

Little changed in the fourth quarter as Russia just increased their lead - all the way to 36 points - despite their bench players in the game.

COACH QUOTES


Serbia vs. Russia Quotes

Jovica Antonic, Serbia Head Coach

"Russia deserves this win because they were better from the first till the last minute. We made only 26% of our shots so we didn't deserve a win. We are looking forward for tomorrow and hoping for win - in this case we can go to the next round."

Valeriy Tikhonenko, Russian Head Coach

"We were prepared for this game. We didn't want to have any surprises because we still remember the game (we lost) from two years ago. Serbia is young and they have good players. We had the initiative from the very beginning till the end. Our girls worked very well and I congratulate them on the win."

Top performers

Accumulated statistics

25.5%

12/47
FG
M/A

48.1%

26/54

33.3%

11/33
FG2P
M/A

52.4%

22/42

7.1%

1/14
FG3P
M/A

33.3%

4/12

85.7%

12/14
FT
M/A

69.6%

16/23

20

5/15
RT
RO/RD

41

12/29

5

AS

17

19

TO

16

5

ST

7

1

BS

3

22

PF

17

37

Pts

72

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