"I have to thank my girls for making history today,” Buyalski said. “I'm lost for words.”
Yelena Leuchanka took another step towards a spot on the All-Tournament team, pouring in 17 points and grabbing nine rebounds for Belarus.
Leuchanka has been downright awesome at this World Championship, averaging 14.6 points and 9.4 rebounds.
The winners got big games very nearly everyone, in fact.
Natallia Marchanka bore the brunt of the Russian defensive pressure and had just three turnovers.
The veteran point guard finished with 11 points, four assists and three rebounds.
“Defense was the key today,” she said.
“We were ready to beat Russia for the first time ever and we are going to the Semi-Finals.”
The most important development for Belarus was the play of youngsters Yuliya Dureika and Aliaksandra Tarasava.
Dureika probably had her best-ever game for her country with 15 points.
She scored on drives to the basket and with jump shots, including a trio of three-pointers on four attempts.
“The victory is what’s most important for us today, not my performance,” Dureika said.
Tarasava entered the game in the third quarter and played four vital minutes of defense on Russia’s Becky Hammon, just as she looked set to lead her team to a comeback.
“Hammon is a great player,” Tarasava said. “I tried to play defense on her but it was very difficult.
“We’re very happy. It was such a great win for us.”
Belarus were nowhere on the women’s basketball map as recently as 2006 but the team qualified for the EuroBasket Women for the first time and captured the bronze medal.
They followed that by qualifying for the Olympics and after coming in sixth at the Beijing Games, Belarus finished fourth at the EuroBasket Women last in Latvia to earn a trip to the World Championship for the first time.
Now, they are one victory away from capturing a medal.
"I think it will be a holiday today in Belarus,” Marchanka said. “We are happy to give this gift to our country, our family and our fans.”