|Alexandra Marchenkova had 18 points on 61 percent shooting from the floor and led Russia to their most important win so far in the tournament|
In yet another absolute thriller at the U18 European Championship Women in Bucharest Russia came out on top, 70-65, in their dramatic winner-takes-all clash with Sweden for the last berth in the Quarter-Finals from Group E.
In a game which was an emotional roller-coaster for both teams, Russia came up with the big play during crunch time as Olga Novikova drained a three-pointer with thirty seconds remaining, which ultimately won the game.
It was a particularly harsh outcome for Swedish centre Paulina Hersler who not only posted another excellent double-double performance with 20 points and 12 rebounds, but also came up with three blocks, including one just before Novikova's dagger shot.
Both teams enjoyed lengthy periods on the front foot, Sweden having a great second quarter and sitting pretty at the interval, 37-32 ahead.
However, led by a stellar display by Alexandra Marchenkova, Russia wrestled the initiative away from their opponent early in the second half and it set up a delicately poised last ten minutes of action.
Both teams tried in vain to make a decisive break but when Marchenkova scored once again with just over a minute remaining, there was still deadlock at 65-65 - until the decisive and deadly intervention by Novikova.
Fittingly, Albina Razheva who claimed a double-double for Russia made the free-throws in the closing seconds to seal the win.