France And Russia Advance To Quarters

02.08.2012

OLYMPICS 2012

10. Ilona KORSTIN (Russia). 5. Evgeniya BELYAKOVA (Russia). 13. Anna PETRAKOVA (Russia)
Russia claimed their third straight victory to book a place in the Quarter-Finals.

France, Russia and the Czech Republic survived close calls in the Olympic women's basketball tournament on Wednesday while Great Britain, Croatia and Turkey fell to defeat.

Les Bleues, just two days removed from their 74-70 overtime triumph against Australia, held on for a third win at the London Games.

Emilie Gomis again led France with 16 points and Isabelle Yacoubou poured in 14.

The 64-60 victory over Canada has put France into the Quarter-Finals.

"That is the first step, but it will not be a good thing if we qualify in fourth position.

"We will wait until the end of the competition (group stage). We want to avoid the USA."

France are in Group B while the United States are in Group A.

The French won despite being out-rebounded by Canada, 40-36.

When asked if France had the makings of a squad that could challenge in the United States in a vital game late in the tournament, Canada coach Allison McNeill said: "They're good defensively.

"When you have a good defense, you can beat anyone."

Russia's men beat Great Britain on the opening day of their tournament and on Wednesday, it was Boris Sokolovskiy's squad that defeated the British women, 67-61.

Ilona Korstin came off the bench late to hit some important shots as Russia won for the third straight game to seal a place in the last eight.

Korstin only played nine minutes but had nine points and four rebounds.

"It was really hard to play against GB at home as all the fans were here for them," she said.

"We had some defensive rebound problems. But we showed our character to fight to the end and win. I helped as much as I could."

Evgeniia Beliakova had a team-high 12 points on four of seven shooting from long range for Russia.

"Our players played as hard as they could and they're a really nice team, but they're never going to be the biggest money earners," Great Britain coach Tom Maher said.

The Czech Republic had a real struggle for three quarters against Croatia but came good in the fourth and rolled to an 89-70 victory.

Katerina Elhotova led the way with 20 points and Eva Viteckova had 18.

Turkey, last year's silver-medal winners at the EuroBasket Women in Poland, put up a real fight with the United States but fell away in the fourth quarter and lost, 89-58.

With just under three minutes remaining in the third quarter, a three-ball by Birsel Vardarli cut the USA lead to 50-45.

The United States then reeled off 10 unanswered points to finish the quarter.

They outscored Turkey 26-11 in the fourth quarter and ended up with a big margin of victory.

Vardarli and Quanitra Hollingsworth finished with 11 points apiece for Turkey.

Hollingsworth also had eight rebounds.


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