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Russia beats Spain 84-65 to reach women's basketball semis
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Russia overcame an early 10-28 down to beat Spain 84-65 in the quarterfinal at the Olympic Basketball Gymnasium on Tuesday.

Russia, also the silver medalist at the 2006 World Championships and the third-place finisher at the 2004 Olympics, will meet the United States, who beat South Korea earlier Tuesday in another quarterfinal, in Friday's semifinal.

The game was a rematch of the 2007 European Championships final between the two sides when Russia beat Spain 74-68.

Spain jumped out to a 21-10 first period lead and expanded to an 18 points advantage 28-10, the biggest margin of the game, by scoring 10 points without answer.

Russia, however, fought back and cut the margin to 30-34 with an 18-4 run with 3:30 left in the second quarter. Guard Linn Rebekka Hammon, an American native and ex-WNBA star who got the Russian citizenship, poured in seven points for Russia during that span.

It was not enough for the Russians after Spain seemed to regain control and completed the first half 40-32. Russia made a 9-1 run to surpass over Spain 51-49 for the first time lead and finished the third quarter with a 56-55 lead.

The European champions kept their momentum with an unbelievable 12-1 opener in the fourth quarter and led the game 68-56.

Tatiana Shchegoleva led four Russians in double figures with 19 points and seven rebounds, followed by Hammon's 17 including three 3-pointers and center Maria Stepanova's 12 points and 10 rebounds.

Amaya Valdemoro scored 16 points and Anna Montanana added 13 for Spain, who placed fifth in 1992 and sixth in 2004.

(Xinhua News Agency August 20, 2008)

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