Lithuania Beat Russia In Wide Open Group B

06 September 2005

Russia's title defence is looking very shaky after being dealt a second straight defeat in the EuroBasket women by Lithuania.

Forty eight hours after falling to Spain in overtime, Igor Grudin's team collapsed in the third quarter against the Lithuanians and lost 80-67.

Lithuanian center Iveta Marcauskaite had a superior performance with a game-high of 23 points - 15 of those coming in the first-half.

Lithuania are beginning to look like a team that is capable of marching all the way to the title.

In their first game they upset Spain, one of the top sides in Europe for the past two years.

The absence of superstar Elena Baranova appears to be working against the Russians.

Baranova has been their leading player for the past several years and was the star of their title winning team two years ago in Greece.

She was unavailable for national team duty this summer.

Lithuania broke open a close game in the third quarter when they scored 13 straight points to lead  52-35.

Russia shot themselves in the foot by turning the ball over five times during that spurt.

After leading at the end of the third quarter the Lithuanians managed to hold on over the final 10 minutes although Russia did close the gap  to 65-73 with one minute remaining.

Ilona Korstin led the Russians with 15 points while team-mate Tatiana Shchegoleva grabbed 13 of her team's total 44 rebounds.

Russia were 4 out of 23 from the perimeter (17.3%) while their rivals managed a respectable 7 out of 16 (43.7%).

Lithuania take on Romania on Wednesday while Russia meet Serbia & Montenegro.

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