Ukraine Upset Russia, France Cruise In Group C

03 July 2009

Ukraine survived a second-half comeback from Russia to claim their first win at the U18 European Championship for Women, 82-61.

Losing by a 54-point margin in their opener to France on Thursday, Yevheniy Filozof's ladies looked a different team and led 42-29 at the break.

12. Olesia Malashenko (Ukraine)
Olesia Malashenko was outstanding with 22 points and 15 rebounds

Russia hit back after the re-start and went on a 10-0 surge to cut the deficit to 60-59 early in the fourth quarter only to run out of steam.

Ukraine limited Russia to just four points in the final stanza.

"This is a great victory for us," said Ukraine star Olesia Malashenko, who had 12 of her game-high 22 points in the first half.

"It means a lot because after our heavy defeat to France yet we proved today that we are a good team and that we are competitive.

"To beat a team that has a lot of basketball tradition will no doubt give us a boost in confidence."

Russia's Yulia Poluyanova had eight of her 11 points in the third quarter and pulled down 12 rebounds.

Russia struggled shooting from behind the arc. They finished five of 25 (20%) while Ukraine were seven of 19 (36.8%).

Slovakia were unable to pull another surprise in the group, as France claimed a 59-42 triumph.

The French stormed to a 31-19 half-time lead and although Slovakia cut the deficit to 11 (32-21) early in the third frame, that was as close as they came.

Allison Vernerey poured in a game-high 15 points and corraled eight rebounds.

Slovakia committed 27 turnovers and had just one player, Marta Palenikova, finish in double figures.

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