Kayseri Book Final Showdown With Kursk

01.03.2012

EUROCUP WOMEN

Kayseri Kaskispor will battle Dynamo Kursk for the EuroCup Women title after surviving in a tense showdown with Botas on Thursday in Turkey.

Nakia Sanford (Umana Reyer Venezia)
Nakia Sanford and Kayseri are in the EuroCup Women final

Kayseri lost the second leg of their Semi-Final clash to Botas, 71-66, but prevailed in the tie by seven points on aggregate and will now meet a team that swept them in their two encounters earlier this season.

Ayhan Avci's side will be at home for the first game of the Final on March 15 and will then take on Kursk in Russia one week later to determine the champions.

Kayseri will start as underdogs after losing at Kursk by 23 points on November 16 and then falling at home on December 8, 75-66.

For a while on Thursday, Botas looked as if they might pull off a terrific comeback and be the ones to face Kursk.

After losing in the first leg at Kayseri last week by 12 points, they returned to the court and played with a sense of urgency.

Botas coach Osman Olcay Orak had the benefit of the home support and that gave the team a lift as it opened up a 14-point lead in the first half to take a two-point advantage on aggregate.

Fans were going wild when Courtney Paris buried a jumper for a 41-27 lead with less than four minutes to go before the break.

Latoya Sanders then came up with a defensive play that swung the momentum to the visitors, blocking a shot by Monica Wright - her third swat of the contest - and then scoring on a fast-break.

Sanders would prove to be a thorn in the Botas side all night.

Donneka Hodges followed with two free-throws and Sanders capped the 6-0 run at the end of the second quarter with a lay-up to cut the Botas advantage to 41-33 at the break.

Botas again went in front by 10 after the restart but Kayseri didn't allow them to press home the advantage.

Sanders took her points haul to 14 in the contest with two free-throws at the end of the third period to reduce the Botas lead to 54-46.

Kayseri really helped their cause with a strong start to the fourth as Sanders scored six points in an 11-0 run that put the visitors in front, 57-54, for a 15-point advantage on aggregate.

Bahar Ozturk had a three-pointer in that spurt.

A couple of Wright baskets gave Botas hope, giving the hosts a 62-59 lead with 2:58 remaining.

Burcu Cigil had an opportunity to increase the advantage for Botas in the contest but missed a lay-up and Sanders scored at the other end - a four-point swing that all but sealed the fate of the home side.

Kayersi lost the game by five when Noel Kuin hit a three-pointer at the buzzer for Botas.

Quianna Chaney had 16 points and Wright 14 for Botas, while Sanders poured in 22 for Kayseri and also grabbed 12 rebounds and blocked five shots.


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