Stepanova Returns As UMMC Rout Zagreb



11. Maria Stepanova (UMMC Ekaterinburg)
Maria Stepanova played 11 minutes in her EuroLeague Women comeback

Having made her return to action in the Russian League last weekend, veteran star Maria Stepanova was back on a EuroLeague Women duty once again as UMMC Ekaterinburg swept their way to a 101-70 Group C success at Novi Zagreb.

The tournament favourites racked up the highest tally of the competition so far this season and became the first to register a three-digit score in a one-sided encounter, to remain unbeaten after seven games.

But, it will be the handful of minutes for Stepanova which will bring most cheer for the orange army of Ekat fans back home, many of whom watched in utter dismay in March of this year when she sustained an ACL injury at the Final Eight in Istanbul.

The margin of victory could probably have been even greater for the Russian side had they not eased up during the closing stages although it was to be expected after giving another awesome display of their power and depth.

Anete Jekabsone and Diana Taurasi impressed in the backcourt as they sunk eight triples between them, with the latter also handing out seven assists.

Whilst in the paint, Candace Parker and Sandrine Gruda were certainly on song and went 12-of-16 under the basket to provide yet more headaches for the home side.

Perhaps mindful of their distinctly lacklustre offering against Novi Zagreb earlier in the campaign, this time around there was no room for any criticism as Ekat opened up with a 30-17 first quarter to lay the tone and that pattern continued.

Mirna Mazic had 17 points and eight rebounds in defeat.


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