Ukraine Beat Italy In Overtime, Advance To Quarter-Finals

08.07.2009

Olha Maznichenko's jaw-dropping afternoon of 36 points and 16 rebounds led Ukraine past Italy, 82-78 and into the quarter finals of the U18 European Championship.

The Ukrainians needed overtime to beat the Azzurrine and were bounced by Maznichenko, who was a one-woman wrecking crew.

She finished 10 if 21 (47.6%) from inside shooting and 10 of 13 (76.9%) at the free throw line.

"I just tried to give all I had to help my team win," said Maznichenko. "I am pleased with my performance but more so, with the result.

"This triumph allows us to go into the final eight and we are all delighted."

Trailing 64-51 with 7:31 remaining, Italy scored 14 unanswered points en route to a 20-5 run over the next six minutes to take a 71-69 lead.

Italy had a chance to put the result beyond doubt but they turned the ball over with 22.5 seconds remaining.

Ukraine star Olesia Malashenko punished them by hitting a jumper to knot the contest at 71-71.

Malashenko then blocked Alessandra Tava's layup as the game went to overtime.

Ukraine outscored Italy 8-2 over the next three minutes to go 79-73 up. Laura Spreafico's three-ball cut the deficit 79-78 with 1:15 left to play before Malashenko crushed Italy's hopes by converting three of four from the line.

Malashenko finished with 13 points and hauled down 15 rebounds.

Italy were out-rebounded 59-39.

Spreafico led the Italians in scoring with 20 points.


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