GROUP ERussia recovered quickly from their defeat at the hands of Croatia to convicingly down France 70-54, in one of the most anticipating games at the U16 European Championship Women. The victory earned them a top spot finish in Group E.
After their first loss of the tournament France finished the Qualifying Round in third place in Group E.
In their routing of France the Russians impressed with 29 fastbreak points along with 40 points in the paint. Alexandra Marchenkova was the game's leading scorer with 15 points.
Russia started the game well and established an early lead. France had trouble to find good looks on offense. After ten minutes they trailed 11-17.
Once again Russia showed a balanced team effort. They increased the advantage up to ten points (11-21) at the beginning of the second quarter. France responded well and scored nine unanswered points. Russia played better in the first half however. Again, they picked it up a notch and led 36-29 after two quarters.
While both sides posted similar numbers in rebounding and field goal percentage, it was free throw shooting that made all the difference in the first half. Russia converted eight free throws while France only had one missed attempt.
But it was aggressiveness in driving to the basket that might have been the topic of discussion in the French locker room at halftime as they scored more often in the paint in the third period.
Russia stayed in control however. France's 17 turnovers hurt them as Russia had 22 fastbreak points after thirty minutes of play.
In the fourth quarter Russia's lead grew up to 13 points (50-63). With a mere five minutes left, France's first loss of the tournament seemed inevitable. The gap widened even more in the final minutes (54-70).