Turning Point: Ksenia Levchenko's three-pointer in the second minute of the fourth quarter put Russia nine points ahead on the scoreboard.
Game Hero: Tatiana Sema does not always shines on the statistics sheet, but she was restless both defending and helping her teammates on offense. Russia can thank her for her unselfishness.
Stats Don't Lie: Belgium only made two of 24 three-point attempts, shying away from the Russian frontcourt. Meanwhile, Russia were almost perfect from outside, hitting three of five three-pointers.
|Tatiana Sema proved to be the perfect team-player, as she helped Russia win the bronze medal.|
Russia is back to podium at the U16 European Championship Women, after a one-year absence, winning the Bronze Medal over Belgium, 53-41.
It was a very balanced game, as expected, with the Russians trying to impose their quickness.
They had some turnovers though that gave the Belgians the opportunity to grab the lead at the end of the first quarter.
Until then, both teams had ups and downs, and it was Eva Devliegher, with 1:15 to play, that made an important three-pointer, followed by Kyara Linskens' free throws, to seal the Belgian lead, 13-12.
The Belgians were focused at the start of the second quarter, going on a 8-2 run, but the Russian frontcourt was able to dominate every minute Linskens was seated on the bench.
With 4:51 to play in the second period, Olga Orlova scored a three-pointer and Russia started to come back into the game, with Ksenia Kuzmina tying from the free-throw line and Zhosselina Maiga securing the Russian lead at half time lead on a fast break, 23-21.
With Kyara Linskens being benched with foul trouble during most of the third quarter, Russia controlled the game under the basket, scoring almost all their points in the paint, while Belgium struggled to get any open shot.
Russia was now able to run their plays and got contributions from all their players, with nine of them having bookes points at the end of the quarter.
Ksenia Levchenko made a three-point attempt early in the fourth quarter to give Russia a nine-point lead, 37-28.
Linskens did not seem fit enough to stop the Russians, and her teammates struggled to cope with the height difference.
But still, it was Linskens who was the best Belgian scorer, with 17 points, while Eva Devliegher finished with 10.
For the Russian team, Daria Kolosovskaya highlighted with 12 points, while Tatiana Sema grabbed 10 rebounds.
Russia proved to have one of the stronger teams in the tournament, having an answer for all situations in the game and being awarded with the bronze medal.
Belgium's performance deserves praise, as the team fought in every second of the game.