Sweden Stun Russia

21 July 2006

It took just one day for the the first uspet at the Umcor U18 European Championship Women in Tenerife and it came courtesy of minnows Sweden.

Playing in Division A for the first time, the Swedes took on Russia in their opening contest and stunned the defending champions 65-55.

Russia knew they would be in for a tough game as early as the opening three minutes when they took an early lead, 2-5, through a Frida Eldebrink three-pointer.

The game then stayed close for 25 minutes, before consecutive threes from Sweden opened up a 31-37 lead for the underdogs midway through the third quarter.

Two field goals in a row from Eldebrink at the start of the fourth quarter gave Sweden a 10-point cushion, 39-49, but the game was far from over.

Russia responded with an 11-0 run and were suddenly ahead, 50-49 with four minutes to play.

However, this thriller still had one remaining twist thanks to point guard Eldebrink and center Louice Halvarsson.

Halvarsson netted a three-pointer to put Sweden back in front and Eldebrink then split a pair from the line to make the score 50-53.

On the next possession, Eldebrink stripped Russian guard Irina Romanova and scored with a lay-up to increase the lead to five points, 50-55.

Following a Romanova miss, Halvarsson then made a huge three-pointer to put Sweden up by 8, 50-58.

Russia called timeout, but guard Olga Petrova missed a jump shot and it was Halvarsson who again scored in the clutch. Her shot proved to be the game-breaker and with just 1 minute to go, Sweden led 50-60, and eventually closed the game winners, 55-65.

Eldebrink finished with a game high 17 points to go along with 7 rebounds, while Halvarsson had 12 points and 7 rebounds.

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