Russia upsets U.S. in basketball

Friday, September 22, 2006

SAO PAULO, Brazil -- Russia beat the two-time defending champion United States 75-68 in the semifinals of the women's world championships on Thursday night, snapping the Americans' 26-game winning streak in this event.

Russia took advantage of poor shooting and sloppy ball-handling by the U.S. to take a 58-38 lead after three quarters. The Americans closed to 73-68 with 45 seconds left, but after two missed free throws by Oxana Rakhmatulina with 30 seconds to go, the U.S. took up almost all of the 24-second shot clock and Candace Parker missed a layup with 12 seconds left.

Ilona Korstin made two free throws with 10 seconds to go and Russia (5-3) advanced to Saturday's gold medal game against Australia (8-0), which beat Brazil 88-76 in the other semifinal.

The United States' last loss in the world championships was to Brazil, 110-107, in the semifinals in 1994. The U.S. had won 51 straight games in the world championships and Olympics dating to that loss.

The U.S. (7-1) beat Russia 90-80 in the first round. The United States entered the tournament ranked No. 1 by FIBA, while Russia was No. 2.

Diana Taurasi finished with 21 points for the U.S.

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