Lithuania Get Late Win Against Ukraine

07 July 2009

Defending champions Lithuania were made to sweat before edging Ukraine 77-74 on the second qualifying day of the U18 European Championship.

With the game knotted at 64-64 with five minutes remaining, Lithuania went on a 7-0 run to take command.

With 36 seconds remaining, Olesia Malashenko's three-ball cut the deficit 75-72 but Egle Siksniute's jumper stretched Lithuania's lead back to five.

Ukraine's Alina Iagupova missed a three-pointer as Lithuania prevailed.

"We tried our best," said Ukraine's Malashenko, who had a game-high 26 points and hauled in 12 rebounds.

She also came up with three steals and two of her team's four blocked shots.

"Lithuania is a tough team to play against and although we stayed within striking distance they just had more players to rotate than us."

Ukraine trailed 34-30 at half-time but stepped up their defense and Darya Zavidna's free-throws put them ahead at 42-40 with six minutes to go in the third quarter.

Ukraine increased the advantage to 52-44 with four minutes to go in the frame but Lithuania went on a 10-2 run to tie the contest at 54-54 going into the final stanza.

Siksniute led Lithuania with 23 points and blocked four shots.

Ukraine were a perfect 12 of 12 from the free-throw line while their opponents were just 10 of 16 (62.5%) at the charity stripe.

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