Russia Overcome Poor Shooting, Serbia

16.08.2010

GROUP E

Serbia failed to become the first team to beat Russia at the U16 European Championship Women 2010 in Greece. In their Qualifying Round match-up the Serbians ooked good for the most part of the game but fell short in the end (60-65).

Russia overcame a poor shooting performance to stay unbeaten at the Ptolemaida and Kozani tournament.

The game was balanced right from the beginning.

Midway through the first quarter Russia picked it up a notch. With seven offensive boards in the first ten minutes they literally grabbed the advantage from the Serbs.

The story of the game changed in the second quarter. After Russia went up by ten points (17-27) Serbia tightened their defense underneath the basket. From that moment on Russia tried their luck from long range but rarely knocked down a shot. Serbia used this drought to turn things around. A 16-3 run before halftime eventually gave them the lead (33-30).

Head Coach Elena Shulzhenko surely found the right words for her players during the break as her team started the third quarter with a 10-1 run. The momentum swung back to favour Russia (34-40). But it didn't take Serbia long to answer. With eight unanswered points they reclaimed the lead from the Russians.

Right at the beginning of the fourth quarter a three point play by Russia tied the game at 52 to set up some thrilling closing minutes.

Serbia could not find consistent offensive production any longer while Russia were well aware that was there chance to win the game. Eventually they did when a pair of free throws by Yulia Sorokina just 40 seconds before the final buzzer sealed the game for them (60-65).

Russia had four players who scored in double figures with Polina Sych having a game high 19 points. For Serbia once again Natasa Kovacevic was the key player. She tallied 14 points and 8 rebounds. Aleksandra Stanacev added 14 points for the Serbs.


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