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Monday, July 23, 2018

Belarus Upsets Russia, 70-53, in World Championships Quarterfinals

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Photo Caption: Belarus celebrates its 70-53 upset of Russia. And is Yelena Leuchanka (White #11), the game’s hero with 17 points and nine boards, reminding physiotherapist Dmitri Sedov of his promise to join them on the floor in a playing dress tomorrow?

Photo Credit: Tara Polen




By Lee Michaelson
Publisher

In breaking news, Belarus, the last-place finisher in Group E (Ostrava) pool play, has just upset previously undefeated Russia, the top seed out of Brno’s Group F, by a decisive score of 70-53. Belarus held Maria Stepanova to just eight points (four of them in the final period), while Becky Hammon (San Antonio Silver Stars) led the way for Russia with 16 points.

“Yelena Leuchanka (Atlanta Dream) killed us inside,” said Russia’s Ilona Korstin. “We are very disappointed with the result and with [the] game we played today. ... We didn’t play as a team but just as individuals trying to keep down the fire. It will be the first time in 10 years that we don’t bring any medal home.”

Leuchanknka fell just short of a double-double with 17 points, plus a game-high nine rebounds, and a crushing defensive effort in the post. Yuliya Dureika (15), Natalia Marchanka (11) and Tatyana Troina (11) joined Leuchanka in double figures for Belarus.

Belarus led by as many as 19 points in a game in which the Russians never led. Moreover, though Russia is normally considered a post powerhouse with the likes of Maria Stepanova holding down the middle, it was Belarus, and particularly Leuchanka, who ruled the paint this day, with a 30-18 edge in points in the paint.

The Belarus win means that Team USA will not have the opportunity to avenge its 2006 semifinals loss to Russia; the U.S. went on to settle for the bronze medal that year. It will also pave the way Australia’s way to the gold medal round, should the Opals get past the Czech Republic in tonight’s game, as most predict. Both Team USA (107-61) and Australia (83-59) beat Belarus handily in pool play.

Though Russian Coach Boris Sokolovskiy has a warning for those who might get too giddy about past results: “I found two main reasons why we lost today,” he stated. “First one, ... in a friendly match we played with Belarus and won [by] over 30 points and in the second half we played just with players from the bench.”

Second, he adds, “We thought more about our semifinal opponent (which likely would have been Australia) ... than about ... today’s game and that’s the second reason of today’s loss with Belarus.”

Still, the one thing everyone here in KV Arena is waiting for is to see whether Belarus’s male physiotherapist Dmitri Sedov will make good on his promise to don a playing dress and join his team in warm-ups before tomorrow’s semifinal game. Belarus wears a tennis like playing dress specially designed for them by European design house Tuta and Sedov pledged to wear one if his team beat nemesis Russia.

With the tournament now having reached the elimination phase, Russia drops into the classification bracket, where it will face the loser of tonight’s game between Australia and the Czech Republic.

Belarus moves on to meet the winner of that game in tomorrow’s semifinals.

Originally published Fri, October 01, 2010


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NCAA DIVISION I TOP 25 COACHES' POLL
WOMEN'S COLLEGE BASKETBALL
Week: February 7, 2012
RANK SCHOOL RECORD LAST WEEK'S RANK PRESEASON RANK AP RANK POINTS
1 Baylor (31) 24-0 1 1 1 775
2 Notre Dame 23-1 2 2 2 743
3 Connecticut 21-2 3 4 3 710
4 Stanford 20-1 4 5 4 685
5 Duke 19-3 6 8 5 650
6 Miami (FL) 20-3 7 7 6 604
7 Kentucky 21-3 5 15 7 584
8 Maryland 20-3 10 10 8 534
9 Wisconsin-Green Bay 20-0 9 24 9 530
10 Ohio State 21-2 11 NR-RV
(61)
10 483
11 Tennessee 17-6 8 3 11 476
12 Delaware 20-1 13 NR 12 434
13 Georgetown 18-5 15 11 14 379
14 Texas A&M 16-5 16 6 15 378
15 Nebraska 19-3 18 NR 13 309
16 Rutgers 17-4 14 12 17 372
17 Louisville 17-6 12 9 20 276
18 Gonzaga 21-3 19 NR-RV
(70)
19 234
19 Purdue 19-5 17 21 16 222
20 Georgia 18-6 20 12 21 202
21 Penn State 18-5 21 14 18 176
22 DePaul 17-7 23 18 NR-RV
(38)
92
23 Georgia Tech 16-6 22 NR-RV
(18)
22 104
24 South Carolina 18-5 NR-RV
(13)
NR 24 46
25 Vanderbilt 18-5 NR-RV
(23)
NR-RV
(19)
NR 45
Dropped Out: No. 24 North Carolina, No. 25 Kansas.
First-place votes: Total first-place votes received (if any) are indicated in parentheses following school name.
Others receiving votes: St. Bonaventure (22-2) 34; North Carolina (17-6) 19; California (17-6) 18; Florida Gulf Coast (21-2) 16; Middle Tennessee (19-5) 15; Texas-El Paso (20-2) 8; Texas Tech (16-6) 5; Brigham Young (21-4) 4; Fresno State (19-4) 4; St. John's (15-8) 4; Princeton (15-4) 3; Oklahoma (15-7) 2; West Virginia (17-6) 2; Kansas State (15-7) 1.
Rank remains unchanged since last week
Ranking has risen since last week.
Ranking has dropped since last week.
Credit: Courtesy Women's Basketball Coaches Association (WBCA). The weekly Division I Top 25 Coaches' Poll, sponsored by USA Today and ESPN, is based on voting by a Board of Coaches made up of 31 head coaches at Division I institutions all of whom are WBCA members.