Spartak Grind Out Win At Fenerbahce


Fenerbahce led in the fourth quarter but couldn't hold on to upset Spartak Moscow Region in the EuroLeague Women Group D on Wednesday.

With Turkish outfit Fener on top 70-69 and just 7:23 remaining in the game, Spartak's Anete Jekabsone-Zogota drilled a three-pointer to spark an 11-0 run and the three-time defending champions pulled away for an 88-74 victory.

Nicole Powell (Fenerbahce)
Nicole Powell had 19 points for Fenerbahce in the loss.
Playing in the competition for the first time since the tragic and sudden death of Spartak Moscow owner, CEO and general manager Shabtai von Kalmanovic, the Russian team put forth a spirited performance on the road.

Diana Taurasi poured in a game-high 29 points for Spartak, who also got 18 from Jekabsone.

Penny Taylor finished with 21 points for Fenerbahce and her American teammate Nicole Powell contributed 19.

The visitors appeared to be on their way to a comfortable win when Sylvia Fowles made a lay-up with 4:09 remaining in the third quarter for a 62-51 Spartak advantage.

Esmeral Tuncluer made two straight jump shots and Birsel Vardarli added a three-point play to close the gap to 62-58 with 1:02 to go in the third quarter.

Taylor drew a foul from Taurasi and made two free-throws to trim the deficit to 62-60, only for Taurasi to reply with a jump shot for a 64-60 Spartak advantage at the end of the third frame.

Fenerbahce had the wind in their sails, though, and eventually went in front early in the fourth quarter.

A Taylor lay-up and a three-ball from Tuncluer made it 68-66 in favor of the home side.

Edwige Lawson-Wade answered with a three-pointer for Spartak, only for Fowles to put Powell on the line. The American made two more free-throws to give Fener their last lead of the contest at 70-69.

Jekabsone buried her go-ahead three-pointer and then something happened that is extremely rare in basketball when Powell twice fouled Taurasi when the USA international was shooting from long range.

The USA international sank three shots from the charity stripe for a 75-70 lead and after Irina Osipova's jump shot made it 77-70, Powell fouled Taurasi again and she made three more free-throws for an 80-70 lead.

Powell stopped the rot with a three-point play for Fener to pull the team to within seven points, but they got no closer as Spartak eventually won by 14.

Free-three shooting helped keep Fener in the game. They were 21 of 24 at the line with Australia international Taylor an impressive eight of eight.

Spartak, who were nine of nine at the charity stripe, were much better shooting the ball in open play.

Pokey Chatman's side made 29 of 45 shots inside the arc and seven of 20 beyond it.

Fenerbahce finished 22 of 52 from two-point range and three of 16 from behind the three-point line.

The Turkish team began the season with a victory over Lotos Gdynia but have now lost two straight, including last week's setback at Frisco Sika Brno.

Spartak improved to 2-0 with the win.

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