Despite a 3-9 record in the EuroLeague Women, Lietuvos Telekomas can consider themselves slightly unlucky this season. 7 of their 12 games have been decided by 5 points or less, and they have lost 5 of them.
Tonight against Russian side Samara they put up another good fight, but ultimately lost by 3 points, 56:59.
Lietuvos telekomas' Jurgita Streimikyte-Virbickiene has consistenly proved to be her side’s best player this season. She played to form against Samara, sparking Lietuvos in the first quarter with 10 points. New signing Latonya Washington also made a good impression, hitting 3 of 4 shots.
Russian national team player Maria Stepanova hit for 6 first quarter points, but the rest of her team-mates struggled, and Lietuvos Telekomas finished the 1st quarter ahead, 20:15.
Samara worked their way back into the game in the second 10 minutes as the home team could hit ony 27% of their shots. The main beneficiary of this wayward shooting proved to be Stepanova. The 202 cm forward finished with 21 rebounds, the second time this season that she has pulled down over 20 boards.
Fellow Russian national team player Ilona Korstine also found her scoring touch, hitting for 4 points and the score was 31:28 at halftime.
Samara took the initiative in the 3rd quarter and 2 three-pointers from guard Olga Naymushina spurred them into the lead. The margin was just 2 points but it gave the Russians the momentum they needed and Lietuvos Telekomas were in trouble.
The home team tried to fight back, but even though Samara lose captain Oxana Rakhmatulina to foul trouble, Lietuvos Telekomas could not come back.
Stepanova added 11 points and 3 blocks to her season high 21 rebounds, while Korstine top scored for Samara with 13.
Streimikyte-Virbickiene earned MVP honours for her 25 point, 11 rebound performance.