|Natalia Vieru provided 12 points and nine rebounds for Sparta&K MR Vidnoje|
Sparta&K MR Vidnoje handed Perfumerias Avenida their first home loss in EuroLeague Women this year with a hard-fought 66-59 victory in Salamanca.
Despite holding Avenida to 21-71 (29.6%) from the field, Sparta&K struggled to put the game away until the final moments. The hosts were defending their strong home-court record, and they cut the lead to two points on a pair of Eshaya Murphy free-throws in the fourth quarter.
Serbian forward Sonja Petrovic followed up her strong performance against Kibirkstis last week with a double-double, recording 19 points and ten rebounds and hitting a crucial jumper with less than four minutes remaining to make it a two-possession game. Sparta&K's defence held firm to ensure Avenida could not get any closer.
Petrovic was one of five Sparta&K players in double-digits while Evgenia Belyakova conducted the offence, registering 10 points, seven rebounds and six assists although she was pressured into five turnovers by Avenida's tenacious defence.
Natalia Vieru added 12 points on 6-for-10 (60%) shooting plus nine rebounds and two blocks as the visitors picked up their eighth win in their last nine EuroLeague Women matches.
Murphy struggled for Avenida, missing 20 shots including all six three-point attempts before fouling out down the stretch with 12 points. Angelica Robinson continued her strong play with her third double-double in her last four EuroLeague Women games, adding 15 rebounds to a game-high 20 points.
Both teams have already guaranteed their qualification to Round 2, with Sparta&K locked into second spot in Group C and Avenida certain to finish fourth.
Sparta&K Player Evgenia Belyakova
"I am really excited right now, we did a great job as a team to win tonight. We had injured players every week and we keep on working hard, players and staff. We played really hard tonight."
Sparta&K Head Coach Alexander Vasin
"We knew we had to play really hard to win here. Nobody has won in Salamanca since February of 2013, so it is really difficult beat Avenida. Now, I think we should be among the five best teams for the next round, because we worked very hard in the past weeks."
Avenida Player Anegelica Robinson
"I can´t be happy tonight, it is true that I did my job to help the team but it was not enough. We should have played stronger on both sides as Sparta&K did, and that was the key. We now have to recover mentally and keep on working for the Spanish Cup."
Avenida Head CoachVictor Lapeña
"Except for the defence on Sonja Petrovic on both sides, I have to be happy with the job we did. We fought a lot, but we had a bad day on shooting percentage, and that was the key. If we had scored as usual, probably we would have won this game."