Hammon Leads Russia To Semifinals After Overtime

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RUSSIA 69 – LATVIA 64

Svetlana Ambrosimova came out strong for Russia scoring 6 of the first 10 pts from her team, making it10-2 after 3:30 -she scored 10 from Russia's 14 pts in the first. Latvia struggled in the beginning credit to Russia's defense. Ambrosimova made it 14-5 with three minutes remaining but then Anete Jekabsone Zogota appeared scoring 10 straight points while her team kept Russia scoreless in the last three minutes of the quarter and put her team un 15-14 at the end of the first.

In the second Russia started with a 6-0 run sparked by 4 pts from Maria Stepanova and capped by Marina Kuzina to make it 20-15 after three minutes in which Latvia struggled again but then appeared Liene Jansone and Dita Krumberga to make Ainars Zvirzdins' team come back in the game with an 11-0 run that abridged from minute 3:30 to minute 7:15 and was sparked by Liene Jansone with 4 straight points, continued by 7 from Krumberga and capped by Kristine Klarklina, to put Latvia ahead 26-20 with 2:45 remaining. Russia began scratching its deficit inmediately -Ambrosimova and Korstin to close the gap, 24-26, with one minute for the interval to which Latvia went up 30-26 after two free throws from Anete Jekabsone Zogota.

After the break Ilona Korstin entered the game and lead Russia with five pts in an 11-2 run from the Russians in the first six minutes to regain the lead and make it 37-32 with 3:15 remaining but they had no time to put the game away since the Latvians came back and scored 5 straight points -a three point play from Jekabsone and two pts from Dita Krumberga to even the score at 37 with 2:37 remaining, teams struggled offensively in the quarter and after the tie none of the teams would score a field goal, Maria Stepanova put Russia ahead after scoring two freebies with one minute remaining, 39-37.

Liene Jansone put Latvia ahead after 1:30 after scoring 5 straight points a trey and two more- to make it 42-39, and then teams traded the next 3:30. Anete Jekabsone kept ahead Latvia with a jump shot, making it 45-43 with 4:40 remaining. Then appeared Irina Osipova with a 2+1 play that sparked a 7-0 run capped by back to back baskets from Ilona Korstin that put Russia ahead 50-45 with 2:30 remaining, however Latvia answered with a 6-0 run in the next 2:30 -two freebies from Gunta Basko and back to back baskets from Zane Tamane to regain the lead, 51-50 and 55 seconds remaining. Maria Stepanova scored in the ensuing possession, making it 52-51 but missed two freebies in the next with 25 seconds remaining. While Latvia missed its second offense Korstin, who was fouled with 4 seconds remaining making it 53-51 but then appeared Gunta Basko with an off balanced shot that would send the game to overtime, 53-53.

In the overtime that appeared was Becky Hammon. After just scoring the first 2 pts of the game she appeared in the clutch moment to take the lead scoring 9 of Russia's 14 pts in overtime. Jekabsone put Latvia ahead early, 55-53, but Russia scored 5 straight points to make it 57-55 -two freebies from Ambrosimova and a three pointer from Hammon- but in Latvia was Gunta Basko who put the team on her back scoring the next eight points of her team. She tied the score after Hammon trey and kept Latvia's chances alive until the very end, closing the gap to one point, 65-64, with 13 seconds remaining but at that point Zvirgzdins' team had to foul the Russian players to regain the ball and Thikonenko's team iced the game from the charity stripe with 4 straight free throws, two by Hammon and two by Stepanova to win 69-64.

For Russia three players went into double-double figures: MAria Stepanova had 16 pts and 12 boards, Svetlana Ambrosimova 13 pts and 12 rebounds and Irina Osipova added 13 pts and 11 boards. Ilona Korstin added 14 pts and 9 boards and Becky Hammon 11 pts.

For Latvia Anete Jekabsone Zogota had 23 pts and 8 boards and Gunta Basko 17 pts and 6 rebounds. Russia outrebounded Latvia 54-43

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