Russia Move To 2-0 In Group C

19 July 2008
Russia stayed perfect in Group C with a 67-50 defeat of Bulgaria at the U18 European Championship for Women.

Anastasia Logunova had a game-high 13 points and was well helped by a supporting cast of Anastasia Kolotilschchikova (10 points, four rebounds, three assists) and Alexandra Tarasova (seven points, 10 rebounds) as last year's bronze medallists proved a class above Bulgaria.

Russia went inside the paint right from the start and the strategy paid dividends as they punished their shorter and less physical opponents to take a quick 10-2 lead.

That proved to be the order of the day for Olga Shuneykina's girls, who repeatedly pounded the ball down low and either scored or got fouled time and time again.

Bulgaria got the game's opening bucket, but then went without a field goal for almost seven minutes. All the while, their opponents reeled off 15 points in a row for a 15-2 advantage.

Ventseslav Gechev's side did put up a brave fight though and were within seven, 22-15, thanks in large part to Violina Kocheva's accuracy from the perimeter.

But for every run Bulgaria made, Russia answered with one of their own, usually a bigger one as they went in at the break up 36-27.

They kept adding to their lead it in the third period, extending the advantage to 17, 47-30.

Bulgaria did find some offensive firepower from the perimeter and prevented their opponents from getting too comfortable but they were only delaying the inevitable.

Ultimately, Russia proved far too tough to cover and successfully resumed their tactic of attacking the basket as they pushed their lead up to 21 on several occasions in the final quarter, putting the game beyond Bulgaria's reach for good.

Veronika Dzhikova had 12 points and Stanislava Stankova added 11 for the eventual losers.

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