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Russia edges South Korea 77-72

Aug. 11, 2008, 12:19 p.m. (ET)

BEIJING (AP) Tatiana Shchegoleva and Ilona Korstin each scored 13 points to help Russia edge South Korea 77-72 in Olympic women's basketball on Monday.

Trailing 72-70, Shchegoleva made a free throw and put back a miss to give Russia a 1-point edge with 1:23 left. After Kim Yeon-gok missed two free throws, Becky Hammon converted two from the foul line to give Russia a 75-72 lead.

Jung Sun-min drove to the basket on South Korea's next possession, but Irina Osipova blocked the shot. Korstin hit two free throws to seal the victory.

Osipova added 11 points and Hammon had 10 for Russia (2-0).

"I thought it was a very good game and I'm glad we were able to pull out the win," Hammon said. "All their shooters have NBA range, we had to make sure we got out on them."

Choi Youn-ah led South Korea (1-1) with 13, including a 35-footer at the end of the third quarter that gave them a 59-58 lead heading into the final quarter. Beon Yeon-ha added 12, hitting four 3-pointers.

Russia edged Latvia in its opening game while South Korea beat Brazil in overtime.

In other games on Monday, Belarus topped Latvia 79-57, Spain defeated New Zealand 85-62, the Czech Republic routed Mali 81-47, and Australia beat Brazil 80-65.

Yelena Leuchanka scored 22 points to help Belarus win. Belarus (1-1) built a 17-point lead in the third quarter before Latvia rallied to cut the deficit to eight early in the fourth. Leuchanka then scored seven points during a 19-5 run to close the game. Gunta Basko scored 19 points to lead Latvia (0-2).

Isabel Sanchez scored 19 points and Anna Montanana added 18 for Spain (1-1), which jumped out to an 11-point first quarter lead and never let up. Trailing by 13 heading into the fourth quarter, New Zealand (1-1) rallied to cut the deficit to six behind Jillian Harmon, who had a game-high 22 points, before Spain pulled away.

The Czech Republic (1-1) scored the first 12 points of the game and never looked back in beating Mali (0-2). Hana Machova scored 14 points to lead the Czech's, who led by 16 at the half and saw the advantage balloon to 40 in the second half. Djenebou Sissoko had 24 points to lead Mali, which got a scare when star Hamchetou Maiga of the Houston Comets injured her ankle in the third quarter. She scored six points and didn't return.

"She sprained her ankle," Mali coach Jose Ruiz said. "We're concerned, but it's not very serious."

Australia (2-0) capped the night with a win over Brazil (0-2). Laura Summerton scored 18 points to lead the Opals, who saw a 21-point halftime lead cut to eight in the fourth quarter before putting the game away. Kelly Santos scored 21 for Brazil.

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