|07 July 2011|
U20 Women Group B
|Karina Nizamova and Russia overcame a slow start to beat Lithuania |
Russia roared back from a poor first half to see off Lithuania 67-55 in the opening game of their U20 European Championship Women Group B campaign.
Lithuania got off to a hot start with a lay-up from Gintare Mazionyte making it 9-0 midway through the first quarter.
It took until the 4:27 mark for Russia to register as Veronika Dorosheva sank a pair of free throws, but they had fought their way back to 15-7 by the end of the first quarter and found their stride late in the half, coming back from 26-20 down to trail 30-28 at the break.
Russia began the second half like a different team, reeling off the first 11 points to make it a 39-30 game and extend their scoring run to 19-4.
The onslaught continued throughout the third period, with Viktoria Medvedeva's three-pointer making it a 49-35 game, with thoughts of Lithuania's early dominance a distant memory.
Russia then suffered a scoring drought of their own, allowing Alexandra Tarasova to make it 49-43 from the line before the end of the third period.
Lithuania frantically sought a way to draw level in a tense final period, but could not close the gap, and Yana Panevina's three with 70 seconds to go effectively settled in as Russia went 64-55 up.
Medvedeva led Russia with 22 points and 10 rebounds while Panevina scored 12 and Dorosheva had 11.
"I think our team was nervous because it was their first game of the tournament," said Russia coach Dmitry Donskov.
"Lithuania played well, they were very aggressive, and their guards caused many problems for us."
Mazionyte had 15 points for Lithuania while Monika Grigalauskyte added 13 and Inesa Visgaudite 11.