|Yana Degtyarskaya hit the late basket that moved Russia into safety|
A strong second half performance propelled Russia to a 65-56 victory against Italy and into fifth place at the U18 European Championship Women in Vukovar.
The Russians had found themselves trailing 42-40 after a basket by Sara Crudo, but they launched a game-breaking 17-4 burst either side of the third and fourth quarter break to assume control.
A rare triple by center Tatiana Sema at the start of the last period came as a real boost and moments later, Russia were able to briefly rack up a double-digit advantage at 55-44.
Italy then fired a rescue salvo by storming back into contention and reducing the gap to just five points at 59-54 with more than two minutes to play.
Inside the last sixty seconds, the margin was still the same after a basket by Cecilia Zandalasini, but Russia made the game safe at the death with free-throws from 15-point Polina Fedorova and a basket by Yana Degtyarskaya.
Zandalasini top-scored for Italy with 14 points, whilst Elisa Penna pulled down nine rebounds before fouling out of the game.