Russia Edge Ukraine In Thriller, Italy Advance

13.07.2008

Olga Petrova's two foul shots with 11 seconds gave Russia a 60-58 victory over Ukraine to remain undefeated at the U20 European Championship for Women.

In Chieti hosts Italy also advanced with a 67-55 win over Germany.

The battle of eastern European countries was tight throughout and proved to be a real thriller as Ukraine young star Olesya Malashenko had knotted the game at 58-58 with 26 seconds to play.

Natalia Vieru collected 14 points and 12 rebounds for Group C winners Russia, who also received 11 points from Elena Pavlova.

Neither team shot well from the foul stripe - 63 percent for Russia compared to 61 percent for Ukraine - and Russia just barely out-shot Ukraine from the floor - 32 percent to 30.

Malashenko was held to just 10 points while Arina Lysyuk led Ukraine with 17 points and Yevgeniya Sharovka had 13 points.

Pavlova and Daria Ezhova knocked down three-pointers en route to an 8-0 lead, which grew to 19-7 on Vieru's three-point play. Oksana Kisilova's long ball cut the deficit to 20-13 after one period.

Oleksandra Prystupa converted a three-point play and Sharokova's three-ball brought Ukraine to within 20-19 in the early stages of the second period. Pavlova and Petrova however hit back-to-back three-pointers and the Russian cushion was back up to 30-21. Ukrainians Sharovka and Lysyuk both drained long balls and Iryna Nagorna's team was back in the game trailing just 33-31 at the break.

Ukraine three times evened the game but could have perhaps been ahead if not for four missed foul shots and four turnovers as they were down 48-41 late in the third quarter. Malashenko made a lay-up and two free throws to make it just 48-45 going into the fourth.

Malashenko, who scored just two points in the first 29 minutes of the game, knocked down a jump shot to bring Ukraine within 50-48. Two baskets by Olga Zhuzhgova pushed Russia back ahead 57-51 only to see Lysyuk answer with a triple for a 57-56 game with three minutes left.

After a Vieru free throw, Malashenko evened the game at 58-58 with two foul shots with 26 seconds to play. Petrova made two free throws with 11 seconds remaining.

Italy Through Win Deserved Victory Over Germany


Italy booked their spot in the Qualifying Round from Group A thanks to a 67-55 victory over Germany, giving them a 2-1 record for third place.

Chiara Consolini led the hosts with 14 points, 11 rebounds and five blocked shots while Sabrina Cinili also had 14 points and Valeria Battisodo added 12.

The Germans dropped to 0-3 and now will fight against relegation despite 12 points from Julia Trogele.

Italy used the three-pointer to jump ahead in the first quarter as Chiara Rossi, Cinili and Martina Sandri were all on target in opening a 17-7 lead after one quarter.

Germany fought themselves back into the contest and cut the deficit down to 23-18 on a Hanna Mügge jumper midway through the second period. Both teams spent much of the rest of the quarter at the foul stripe before Emilia Bove's three-pointer just before the buzzer gave Italy a 34-25 advantage at the break.

The margin was just four points following Jacqueline Fatsawo's jump shot only to see Consolini drain a three-ball. Still Wiebke Burns made it just a three-point game - 37-34 - on a lay-up. But Julia Gajewski's offence stalled, failing to produce a basket in 10 possessions while Consolini's lay-in gave the hosts a 52-36 advantage. An Anna-Lisa Rexroth three-ball left Germany trailing 52-39 after three periods.

Germany's push back into the game was spurred on by Trogele who scored back-to-back baskets and later completed a three-point play to make it 56-52 with less than three minutes to play.

Battisodo made two foul shots and then Consolini heaved a prayer three-pointer just before the 24-second clock for a 61-52 advantage with just 1:44 to play. And Germany would not get any closer the rest of the game.


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