Fenerbahce Dodge Bullet, Make Semis

09.04.2014

EUROLEAGUE WOMEN

23. Cappie Pondexter (Fenerbahce)
Cappie Pondexter provided the goods for Fenerbahce for the second time in less than 24 hours

Turning Point: With the chance to win the game in the dying seconds, Sparta&K failed to take their opportunity and weren't able to execute with a clutch shot when it mattered most. Nika Baric turned the ball over with five seconds remaining, opting to pass rather than attempt the potential game-winning shot.
Stats Don't Lie: This was probably one game when numbers and statistics didn't really matter - only who had the composure during crunch time. However, maybe the 9-2 bench scoring in the favour of Fenerbahce highlighted the main difference between each respective roster.
Game Heroes: Cappie Pondexter had 16 points to lead the way and Angel McCoughtry had 13 points and four steals, including the one which effectively won the constest.

Last year's runners-up Fenerbahce made their way back into the semi-finals of the EuroLeague Women Final Eight but had to survive a major scare to take a dramatic 58-57 victory over Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje.

For the second time in less than 24 hours, the Turkish giants squeezed out a narrow success to top Group A and put themselves within touching distance of another appearance in the title game.

Despite once again not at their slick best, head coach Roberto Iniguez was quick to pay tribute to the resilience of his team.

"Firstly, I have to congratulate my players because they have again given absolutely everything to win the game.

"We really want to make our supporters proud and we know we can be better, but we are fighting hard for the fans .

5. Sonja Petrovic (Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje)
The disappointment was clear on the face of Sonja Petrovic following their loss

"I said this would be a difficult game and so it was because Coach (Alexander) Vasin does an absolutely incredible job, they all play together and have good scouting."

In a game which perhaps lacked fluidity, but was overflowing with tension and intensity, Sparta&K refused to lie down and showed why they have had such a fruitful season.

Fenerbahce threatened to streak away when they led 33-26 after a triple from Cappie Pondexter, but in a pattern which repeated, Sparta&K came roaring back.

They even led 55-52 with five minutes left in the contest after a score by Sonja Petrovic, but Fenerbahce scored six of the last eight points to prevail.

It was a conclusion which left Russian national team guard Evgenia Belyakova ruing a missed chance for her team.

"I was very sad to lose this game as we fought so hard, but just lacked a little something," she mused after contributing 14 points and seven rebounds

"Still, I have really enjoyed the tournament and this game was great to play in."

 


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