|Sylvia Fowles crowned her EuroLeague Women return with a doubl-double of 10 points and 16 rebounds|
It always promised to be something of a mismatch and so it proved, as Novi Zagreb were routed 79-48 by Galatasaray in Group C during a difficult first EuroLeague Women footstep.
Despite the Turkish giants missing some headline names including Nevriye Yilmaz and Alba Torrens, the gulf in class was evident right from the tip-off.
They welcomed their Croatian opponent to the elite level by immediately outlining the kind of quality Novi Zagreb must now try to compete with as they posted a mesmerising finish to the opening period.
Trailing 8-7 after the first four minutes, Galatasaray eventually woke themselves up and finished the period with an incredible 23-2 run to stamp their authority on the game.
As Novi Zagreb tried to hold on and remain competitive, they managed to restrict Galatasaray to a more respectable 15 points in the second quarter but offensively, they were continually blunted.
Consequently Galatasaray was able to coast to victory during the second half.
Sylvia Fowles made a welcome return to the competition by harvesting 10 points and 16 rebounds whilst team-mate Sebnem Kimyacioglu enjoyed a dream EuroLeague Women debut with 16 points.
Sandra Mandir was the only Novi Zagreb player to make it into double digits with 10 points.
Galatasaray head coach Ekrem Memnum:
"We know that Novi Zagreb has some very good players, and we played very good defense. We are very happy to open this season with the win, as we have a lot of players injured."
Novi Zagreb head coach Vladimir Ivankovic:
"Very tough game for us. On Saturday we played a big game in the Croatian championship, against WBC Gospic. We have some injuries and we couldn't perform as we wanted. We were very impressed with our opponents, but that was normal - it's our first game in the EuroLeague Women. We will be better during the season."
Novi Zagreb player Courtney Vandersloot:
"It was a tough game for us, we must credit Galatasaray. They are a very good basketball team and very experienced in the EuroLeague Women. They started the game tough and we dug ourselves in a hole. Against a team like Galatasaray we have to play our best for 40 minutes, and tonight we didn't do that."