|Nika Baric led Sparta&K MR Vidnoje to their third consecutive victory, claiming 16 points in the win|
A strong team effort by Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje facilitated an impressive 67-56 victory against Perfumerias Avenida as they inked a third consecutive win in EuroLeague Women Group C.
After starting the season with two defeats, the Russian side are now flying and condemned their guests to the third road loss of their campaign.
The hosts were already 22-16 ahead when Daria Namok stepped off the bench to hit a three-pointer which initiated a game-breaking run.
Sparta&K scored 14 points without reply, led by young Slovenian playmaker Nika Baric, who was the standout player in the first-half.
Mariona Ortiz eventually broke the drought for Avenida, but her basket was to prove the only other scoring outside of Eshaya Murphy and Angelica Robinson during a nightmare first twenty minutes.
Down 42-22 at the interval, the team from Salamanca re-grouped and posted a 13-4 start to the second-half, as Marta Fernandez finally found her range after missing her first seven field-goal attempts.
Just as Sparta&K began to look vulnerable to a serious wobble, they produced seven of the last ten points in the period to restore their superiority, with Evgenia Belyakova scoring two vital baskets from either side of the three-point line.
Avenida searched for another fight-back and rallied in the closing minutes, but it was too little, too late, as Sparta&K eased across the finishing line.
Baric starred with 16 points, whilst fellow young-gun Ksenia Tikhonenko contributed 10 points and nine rebounds.
Robinson had a double-double of 16 points and 11 boards in defeat.
"It is obvious that we did not show up in the first half. And Spartak took advantage of this and went into the locker room with a comfortable lead. In the second half we played with intensity, on offence we played with sense and discipline, we did a good job in the rebounding sector but Spartak showed they are a good team and did not allow us to reach to a point we can threaten."
Perfumerias Avenida guard/forward Marta Hernandez
"We started bad in the first half and that is not something you can do against a team like Spartak especially in their home. We did play hard in the second half and we tried to overcome the first half difference but we fell short of achieving this. If we want to make it to the Final Eight we have to start playing better in the beginning of all our games, especially away."
"We came into this game hungry and thanks to some good defence we were able to take a comfortable lead. But as we expected, Avenida came in strong and started closing the gap. The fact that they are a good team in combination with the Jones injury we had to work hard to keep Avenida away from threatening us more then they did. I hope Ashja did not suffer a serious injury because excpet of being valuable for us she is also a special person."
Sparta&K point guard Nika Baric
"I am happy for this win because of many reasons. First of all we beat a very good team, my team showed character and worked hard throughout the game, especially in the first half and lastly, on a personal note, I helped my team more then I have done the last days. But we have a lot to work on and we have to keep on listening to our coach. Our thoughts are with our teammate and we hope the best for her."