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Latvia pulls out last-second win in basketball

Aug. 13, 2008, 9:39 a.m. (ET)

BEIJING (AP) Anete Jekabsone-Zogota scored 25 points, including a lay-up with 2.7 seconds left that lifted Latvia to a thrilling 79-78 victory over Brazil on Wednesday.

Trailing by one, Jekabsone-Zogota caught the inbounds pass and drove to the basket for the lay-in. Brazil had one last chance but Adriana Pinto's foul-line runner bounced off the rim. The win was Latvia's first of the Olympics and left Brazil winless.

"It was a life-or-death game for us that was entertaining, but I'd have preferred the win," Brazil coach Paulo Campos said. "I have mixed emotions, but am proud of this group."

Brazil had taken a 78-77 lead with 7.5 seconds left on Zane Eglite's 3-pointer in the back-and-forth game.

Latvia (1-2) was trailing by one with 2 minutes left when Jekabsone-Zogota hit a deep 3-pointer just beating the shot clock to give her team a 72-70 advantage. Gunta Basko added two free throws to extend the lead to four before Kelly Santos' three-point play with 1:24 left cut Brazil's deficit to 74-73.

Pinto gave Brazil back the lead with a jumper before Ieva Kublina's 3-pointer with 20 seconds left gave Latvia a 77-75 cushion.

Eglite found herself open in the corner for her 3 setting up the final play.

"Absolutely I knew the play was going to go through her," Latvia coach Ainars Zvirgzdins said. "I gave her the task and I'm glad she did it."

With the loss Brazil fell to 0-3 and will have a tough road ahead to make the quarterfinals. They will play undefeated Russia on Friday before finishing off the pool play Sunday against Belarus. The top four teams in each pool advance to the next round.

"We look ahead to two great games against Russia and Belarus and it's going to be difficult to advance, but we'll try and do our part," Campos said.

In other games Wednesday, Russia held off Belarus 71-65, China routed New Zealand 80-63, Australia topped South Korea 90-62, and Spain beat the Czech Republic 74-55.

Maria Stepanova had 13 points and nine rebounds for Russia (3-0). Natalia Marchanka scored 16 points to lead Belarus (1-2). She hit four 3-pointers, including banking in one from just inside halfcourt to end the first quarter.

Chen Nan scored 18 of her 26 points in the first half as China (2-1) built a 17-point lead and cruised to the victory against New Zealand. She also grabbed 17 rebounds and had three blocks. Jillian Harmon and Angela Marino each scored 14 points to lead New Zealand (1-2).

Penny Taylor scored 18 points and Suzy Batkovic added 18 points and 10 rebounds to help Australia (3-0) remain unbeaten. The Opals led by 14 at the half and put the game away with a 14-2 run to close the third quarter. Lauren Jackson scored six of her 16 points during the spurt. Beon Yeon-ha had 20 points to lead South Korea (1-2). She hit 6-of-7 3-pointers.

Anna Montanana scored eight of her game-high 20 points in third quarter as Spain (2-1) outscored the Czech Republic 30-11 in the period to turn a one-point halftime lead into a rout. Montanana was 9-for-12 from the field. Eva Viteckova led the Czech Republic (1-2) with 12 points.