Group B: Russia Win Nail-Biter, Latvia All Over Sweden

15 July 2010

By David Hein

Anastasia Shilova scored 23 points as Russia beat Ukraine in a back-and-forth showdown in Group B of the U20 European Championship for Women.

There were 11 lead changes and six ties before Russia prevailed in Liepaja with Tatiana Petrushina scoring 12 points and Yana Panevina adding 10 points.

Alina Iagupova paced Ukraine with 22 points, nine rebounds, six assists and three steals while Olesia Malashenko collected 12 points and 12 rebounds and Olga Maznichenko chipped in 14 points, six rebounds, five assists and three steals.

Ukraine jumped ahead 10-1 but saw Russia respond with the next seven points. The Ukrainian lead was seven points before Russia scored the next eight points spanning the first quarter for a 22-21 advantage.

Ukraine led by as many as six points in the second quarter which did have four lead changes and two ties before ending with Ukraine ahead 42-36.

Russia fell behind by eight points again in the third but knotted the game at 53-53 and it was a 60-58 Ukraine lead after three periods.

There were five lead changes in the fourth until Russia went on an 11-1 run to open a 74-65 advantage. Ukraine pulled to within 76-72 on Iagupova's three-pointer. But Shilova nailed a triple of her own to finish off the Ukrainians.

Niedola leads Latvia onslaught

Sabine Niedola gave her home fans plenty to cheer about in leading Latvia to a 87-41 blasting of Sweden in Group B action of the U20 European Championship for Women.

The Liepaja native Niedola scored 29 points to go with 11 rebounds and three assists in just 26 minutes of action. Kristine Vitola added 10 points and 11 rebounds as 11 Latvian players scored.

Sweden could not handle the Latvians' stifling defense, which held the Scandinavians to just 26 percent shooting from the field while blocking 10 shots and out-rebounding Sweden 63-24. The one sore point for Latvia was hitting just 6-of-26 (23 percent) from long range.

Beata Gullberg led the Swedes in points with 16 and Maryam Gultekin had 13.

The tournament hosts scored the first seven points and did not give up a basket in the first 3:36 before watching Sweden pull to within 7-6. Latvia answered with the next 11 points and an 18-6 lead with Niedola having scored 14 points and assisted on the other two baskets.

The onslaught continued in the second quarter as the lead swelled to 29 points - 40-11 at the break.

Latvia scored the first 13 points of the second half for a 43-point lead before Sweden finally scored with 6:13 left in the quarter. Latvian coach Martins Zibarts pulled his starters midway through the third but the advantage grew to 47 points - 65-18 going into the fourth.

Sweden did not make up any ground in the final frame and watched the gap increase to 49 points.


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