Sweden 71 Russia 92

07.09.2003

Sweden managed to keep the game against Russia close in the first half, but in the third quarter things fell apart for the Swedish team. "We played way too poorly in the third quarter and that decided the outcome of the game" said Swedish forward Oluoma Nnamaka.

Sweden opened the game playing terrific basketball like they did in the game against Serbia & Montenegro and they led for most of the first quarter, but Russia got the lead back at the end of the first. Jonas Larsson made a rare 4-point play in the first quarter when he hit a three pointer and got fouled for the extra point, cutting the Russian lead to 25-28.

The man behind Russia's victory was as usual Utah Jazz star forward Andrei Kirilenko with 22 points, 9 rebounds and 3 steals. Center Fedor Likholitov continued his great play in the tournament, scoring 16 points on 6-7 shooting, grabbing 7 rebounds, and blocking 3 shots. Guards Karassev and Pachoutine scored 12 points each.

"The third quarter has been an Achilles-heel for us in a lot of games" said Swedish coach Jan Enjebo. That was also the case or the Swedish team on this evening. Russia outscored Sweden 12-25 in the third quarter. Likholitov and Pachoutine were especially effective in the third. In the fourth quarter Sweden was never able to put on a significant run and threaten Russia's victory.

Sweden's best players in this game was shooting guard Jonas Larsson, 17 points, and power forward Fredrik Jönzén, 18 points and 5 rebounds. Jönzén was Sweden's best player in the tournament, all three games combined. Center Joakim Blom also had a fine game finishing with 13 points. Swedish point guard Paul Burke scored 7 points to go with 5 rebounds and 5 assists. "We did our best but it wasn't enough against this opposition today" said Swedish forward Lesli Myrthil.

The big difference in the game was the shooting. Sweden shot a horrible 38 % from the floor, while Russia connected on a sizzling 60 % of their shots. Neither Jonas Larsson nor Jönzén shot especially well in the game, hitting only 10 of their 29 shots combined. Russia also outrebounded Sweden 40 to 23. Russian coach Elevitch got to use many of his bench players in the fourth quarter when the game was decided.

Russia will go on to face Croatia who finished third in group D in Borås. That game will be played in Södertälje tomorrow. Russia's win means that Serbia & Montenegro will have to go to Borås to face what should be a vey difficult opponent in Turkey.


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