Ukraine Rally Past Romania

18 July 2008

The Ukraine proved the better team down the stretch as they edged out Romania 70-64 in the U18 European Championship for Women.

Feodora Kochergina's side, who came in fifth in last year's competition, trailed 49-44 at the end of the third quarter but used a 12-2 run to end the game victorious.

Ol'Ha Maznichenko was unstoppable in the second half, scoring 26 of her game-high 33 points, including an impressive 16 for 17 performance from the free-throw line, where she spent much of the fourth quarter.

Romania jumped to an early 14-5 advantage but the Ukraine used a 10-0 run to edge ahead 17-16 by the end of the first quarter.

The two teams traded the lead during the second period with Romania taking a 31-30 lead into the break following a pair of slick drives to the basket from Alina Chivu.

And a win looked to be on the cards as Madalin Piperea's side scored eight unanswered points to open the third quarter and push their advantage to 39-30.

However, some fine shooting by Kateryna Dorgobuzova got the Ukraine within four,  49-45, to start the final frame.

Romania stayed in front but the Ukraine were breathing down their neck with Maznichenko powering her way inside and scoring at will.

Flavia Ferenczi hit a three to put Romania up 62-58 but the Ukraine turned to Maznichenko in crunch time and she delivered time after time leading the way to victory.

Maznichenko also finished with a team-high eight rebounds for the Ukraine. Dorogobuzova added 22.

Elisabeth Pavel had a monster game for Romania with 25 points and 11 rebounds and Chiva contributed 21.

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