Day 5 Women: RUS 93 - NGR 58
Russia ends preliminaries with 4-1 record
ATHENS - The Russian Women's Basketball team got a great spread in its scoring against Nigeria today, all 12 players getting on the scoresheet as the European champions crushed the Africans 93-58 to finish the preliminary rounds with a 4-1 record.
Russia's sole loss in the Olympic Games tournament so far was to Australia.
For the Russians, point guard Oxana RAKHMATULINA led the scoring with 15 points and three assists, while Ilona KORSTIN contributed 13 points and Olga ARTESHINA 12 points. Elena BARANOVA (eight boards) and Elena KARPOVA had 11 and 10 points respectively.
The Nigerians put up a good fight until late in the third quarter, closing to within 58-44, but the Russians powered home with a 35-14 run in the final 13 minutes.
Mfon UDOKA led Nigeria with 19 points, while Aisha MOHAMMED added nine points and eight rebounds.
The Africans (0-5) will play for places 9-12 in Helliniko Indoor Arena on Tuesday.
Diana GUSTILINA, Guard (RUS)
"I think today the whole team played well, and all the girls gave their best. We did a good job defensively, and this allowed us to play better in offense as well."
Vadim KAPRANOV, Head Coach (RUS)
"The way the game went, neither team had to show its full strength. It was a game with no importance as far as standings are concerned, and I could say that it was like a good practice for both teams. I liked some Nigerian players, especially No 11 (Mfon UDOKA), who has some interesting characteristics in her game. In every game she scores 20 points, and she requires special attention from the opposing team. I would like to wich Nigeria to achieve in the future much more than they have here."
Aisha MOHAMMED, Forward (NGR)
"We tried our best, but our lack of experience was evident. I hope we do better in the future."
Sam VINCENT, Head Coach (NGR)
"Aisha is right, the lack of experience of this team is showing. We got smacked around by the other teams and it's really painful, but we have to take it as part of a learning experience, work on our programme, identify players and build a new team for the future."
Press conference quotes:
Elena KARPOVA (RUS), Forward:
On the next game against Czech Republic:
"We are determined to win. Its like a replay of the final of the last European Championships. We hope to repeat our win."
On Russias performance so far:
"We are playing better and better, we improve on our disadvantages with each game. I hope that we continue to do so."
On the favorites for the top three places:
"The USA is the absolute favorite for the gold medal. As far as the other two places are concerned, Australia, Spain and ourselves are likely candidates."
Oxana RAKHMATULINA (RUS), Guard:
On the game:
"This game was not serious for us. It was like a practice for the coming game. We want to continue playing as long as we can, and we will meet very strong teams along the way, such as the USA, Australia and Brazil."
Umoh ITORO (NGR), Guard:
On the Olympic Games:
"We gained a lot of experience in these Games. It was a long time since we all played together."
On the game:
"We are shocked from the result."
Nguveren IYORHE (NGR), Guard/Forward:
On the game:
"We tried our best but the best team won in the end. They beat us both in defense and rebounds."
On the favorites for the Gold medal:
"I am not sure yet, everything is shaking in these Olympic Games. Both USA and Australia have very strong teams, but anyway, I wish good luck to all of them ."
Source: Athens News Service