Galatasaray Snatch Last Semi Spot

09 April 2014
10. Isil Alben (Galatasaray odeabank)
Isil Alben and Galatasaray were on the right side of nail-biting finish 24 hours after being on the wrong side

Turning Point: After Kayseri had enjoyed a rapid-fire start to be up  24-13 after a score by Italian forward Sabrina Cinili, Galatasary ended the half with a 13-2 burst to ensure they were on equal terms when they reached the locker rooms at the break, putting them under less pressure when they returned to the floor.
Stats Don't Lie: Galatsaray gave up 20 points in the first ten minutes but it was the six points they restricted Kayseri to in the second quarter which was the outstanding number. The winning team also had more points in the paint at 38 to 26 and this is where they had to get their scores as they were a poor 2-of-11 from downtown.
Game Hero: Kelsey Bone had a stellar shooting night with 21 points achieved from 10-of-13 floor shooting. She also harvested six rebounds.

Galatasaray odeabank punched the last remaining ticket for the semi-finals of the EuroLeague Women Final Eight after claiming a 58-56 win against fellow Turkish side Kayseri Kaski spor to set up a last four clash with UMMC.

Although his team achieved their objective of making it through, Galatasaray head coach Ekrem Memnun wasn't able to reflect on a satisfactory performance.

"Basketball-wise it was terrible and I actually expected worse from my team because it was such a big disappointment to have lost the previous game.

"We tried to recover by talking about this and I have to congratulate my players because I think we have run out of gasoline.

"In fact, I have no idea how the car has continued moving with our short rotation.

"But, we will enjoy the semi-final against UMMC and it's a good game for the fans.

"We have quality players and you just never know what can happen."

Kayseri headed into the match-up aware that an eight-point lead would see them jump unexpectedly into the semi-finals and needing a positive start, they delivered one.

While the game was still level at 9-9 in the early stages, they left Galatasaray on the ropes when they put their foot on the accelerator and jumped out into a double-digit advantage.

But led by Kelsey Bone, Galatasaray regained their foothold in the encounter and by the break, had got back on level terms at 26, with the center contributing 11 first-half points.

The second half was a tense affair as Kayseri tried to re-gain control without great success, although they did almost give themselves an extra five minutes to get the winning margin required.

Aysegul Gunay nailed a triple from the wing with three seconds left to tie the game, but there was still time for Sancho Lyttle to ice the game with a lay-up coming out of the subsequent time out.



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