Elitzur Survive Taranto Scare

28 February 2008

Elitzur Ramla were given a lesson on Thursday night by Levoni Taranto but avoided a meltdown and prevailed in the tie over two legs to reach the EuroCup Women semi-finals.

After thrashing the Italian side 78-51 in front of their own fans in Israel last week, Elitzur went down 84-62 at Taranto - good enough to secure a five-point win on aggregate.

The home side held a 43-28 lead at half-time and went in front by as many as 17 in the third quarter.

With Elitzur Ramla looking as if they would do just enough to stay in front over the two legs, Levoni Taranto made their move.

Anna Zimerle drilled a three-ball with 3:36 remaining in the game, and then added a three-point play to make it 78-56 in favour of the home team.

Zimerle struck again with another jump shot and suddenly, the hosts led by 24 on the night trailed by a mere three on aggregate with 2:00 to play.

Zimerle was called for a fouled on Elitzur's Shay Doron, though, and the Israeli buried four consecutive free throws to reduce her team's deficit to 20 on the night.

But Brunson, who had a game-high 32 points, scored and Zimerle added another buck as well to make it 84-80 with just under a minute to play.

The visitors desperately needed a basket but when Doron put up a jumper, she was off target, giving Taranto a chance to tie the aggregate score with a three-pointer.

The player with the hot hand, Zimerle, launched a shot from long range with 22 seconds to go, only to miss.

The Italians had to foul and put Doron on the line where she made two more free throws for the 84-62 final.

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