Milton Stars As Ros Squeeze Through

28 February 2007

DeLisha Milton was the star of the show as Ros Casares battled their way through to the EuroLeague Women Final Four following a thrilling overtime victory over Fenerbahce.

Milton recorded game-highs in both points (30) and rebounds (13) as Ros Casares fought back from a nine-point deficit in the final period to claim a 82-80 win in Istanbul.

Ros Casares had lost on both of their previous two visits to Fenerbahce's Caferaga Sports Hall during this season's competition, but it was third time lucky on Wednesday as they joined Spartak Moscow Region, Bourges Basket and CSKA Volgaburmash in the Final Four.

DeLisha Milton (Ros Casares Valencia)
DeLisha Milton
Despite all her good work during the match, Milton had looked to have cost her side dear when she conceded a personal shooting foul late on, allowing Nevriye Yilmaz to score two free throws that put Fenerbache 72-70 up with seven seconds left.

But US ace Milton, who played a key role as Gambrinus Brno won the EuroLeague Women title last season, immediately made amends as she tapped in a missed Allison Feaster-Strong three-point attempt to tie the score up at 72-72 and send the game to overtime.

That late leveller looked to have knocked the stuffing out of Fenerbahce as Ros Casares quickly raced into a 79-73 lead in the extra period, but the hosts kept battling and got back to within two points.

However, Marina Ferragut's three-pointer with 25 seconds remaining extended the gap back to five points and this time there was no way back for Fenerbahce.

The defeat was tough on the Turkish side who had led for most of regulation time, and had enjoyed a 45-36 advantage just after half-time thanks to 9-0 run - the impressive Tammy Sutton-Brown scoring seven of those points.

The home side still led 59-50 midway through the final period, when Ros Casares staged their remarkable fightback, scoring 15 of the next 17 points to go ahead 65-61.

After that there was precious little to separate the two sides until the Spanish superpowers squeezed home after overtime.

Sutton-Brown paced Fenerbache with 22 points and six rebounds, while her team-mate Cappie Pondexter, who like Milton will take part in next month's EuroLeague Women All Star game in Valencia, scored 20 points, grabbed three rebounds and handed out two assists in a losing cause.

For victorious Ros Casares, Elena Tornikidou provided good support to Milton with 14 points, eight rebounds and five assists.

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