Russia Punish Germany In The Paint

17.07.2009

Russia destroyed Germany in the paint 76-47 to advance to the Semi-Finals of the U20 European Championship Women 2009.

The final score could have been:  Germany-47, Natalia Vieru & Nadezda Grishaeva-48.

Russia's frontcourt duo absolutely dominated, outscoring the entire German team by a point and coming one rebound shy (20) of tying their opponents' work off the glass.

Vieru had 28 points and ten rebounds while Grishaeva notched 20 points and matched her in boards.

Germany refused to doubleteam them until late in the game and Russian pair punished them all evening long.

"We weren't surprised [the Germans did not doubleteam] because they had seen that in early games when the other team doubleteamed us we were passing to the open perimeter player," said Grishaeva, who also had three assists and two blocks.

"They started to double us late in the game when we were way ahead and it was too late."

Germany can not be faulted for lack of trying. Julia Gajewski's squad came out and fought Russia hard, forcing them into nine first quarter giveaways.

Guard Stina Barnert (team-high 12 points) found holes in the defense by driving into the lane and hitting pull-up jumpers out of the reach of the Russian shot blockers.

A fastbreak lay-up by Julia Trogele (8 points) put Germany up four early in the second. 

"At the beginning we had a lot of turnovers, but then we found our game," said Grishaeva.

And their game was getting the ball into the post, something the Russian guards did time and time again.

Russia looked inside to Natalia Vieru and their center stepped up, working hard to get her defenders deep under the basket and then calling for the ball.

The 2008 U20 MVP scored eleven points in the quarter to send her team into the halftime break up 33-28.

Vieru and Grishaeva kept pounding away and Russia was up 14 points (53-39) by the end of the third. 

At the end the most basic logic of basketball took over- the tallest win. 

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