|19 February 2009|
An Italian club won the EuroCup Women last year and the country looks to have a team in strong contention for honors this season after Cras Basket Taranto hammered CB Feve San Jose in the first leg of their Quarter-Final on Tuesday.
Megan Mahoney scored 18 points and Suzy Batkovic contributed 13 along with 13 rebounds in a 66-43 victory for Taranto, who are hoping to follow the lead of 2008 champions Beretta-Famila Schio.
Roberto Ricchini's Taranto seized the initiative in the second quarter.
With game knotted at 15-15 after the opening frame, Taranto held the Spanish outfit to just four points and took a 27-19 lead to the changing rooms.
Batkovic and Mahoney each had eight points and Anna Zimerle six assists for the Italians at the break.
Any chances of CB Feve San Jose prevailing in the first leg disappeared over the next 10 minutes when they were outscored 19-8 to go into the final frame behind 46-27.
The Spanish team's plight grew worse in the fourth quarter as they ended up falling by 23 points, leaving them needing a miracle to advance to the last four.
Taranto out-rebounded the Spanish 53-38, with Batkovic (13), Mahoney (nine) and Elodie Godin (eight) combining for 30 of those boards.
Zimerle finished with eight points, eight assists and six rebounds.
Eshaya Murphy scored 16 points for San Jose with Spain international Lucila Pascua scoring 10 points and pulling down 10 boards.
The second leg will be played on February 26.