In her first season of EuroLeague Women action, Hungarian center Anna Vajda has yet to make a name for herself. That may all change is she continues to perform as she did tonight against Bourges. The 19 year old won the game for the home team almost single-handedly, as she hit 11 points in the last 7 minutes to see Sopron home.
It was a topsy-turvy game in Sopron which started off with both teams matching each other basket for basket, and Bourges finishing the first quarter with a slight advantage, 14:16.
Sopron replied at the start of the 2nd quarter with a 9:0 run. They capitalised on Bourges' sudden carelessness with the ball and converted the turnovers into fast break lay-ups. The French side gradually found their back into the contest and an 8-metre buzzer beater at halftime from point guard Celine Dumerc saw them within 1-point of Sopron, 29:28.
The momentum seemed to be in favour of the visiting team and in the 3rd Bourges ran all over Sopron, outscoring them 19:8 and taking a 12-point lead into the final period.
The last 10 minutes proved to be a treat for basketball fans, but particularly for Sopron fans. The home team refused to give up, but the key to the game was coach Natalia Hejkova's decision to bring in Vajda.
She scored 8 points to bring her team to within 2 points of Bourges with 25 seconds to go, but she was not yet finished. Bourges had the ball for the final possession, but Sopron came up with the steal and got the ball to the red-hot Vajda. She duly obliged by hitting her 3rd three-pointer, giving her team a 1-point lead.
With 10-seconds on the clock, Bourges still had a chance to steal the win, but the French side could not convert and Sopron celebrated a dramatic victory.
MVP: Anna Vajda (Euroleasing-Orsi Sopron).
Verdana Grgin-Fonseca, Bourges Basket:
"We lost the game, but I feel we gave everything to win the game. In the last seven minutes we made a lot of mistakes, we forgot to play basketball."
Anna Vajda, Euroleasing-Orsi Sopron:
"Im very happy! We had better and worse periods through the game. But the most important are those last seven minutes, which are very positive for the future."
Natalia Hejkova, Head Coach, Euroleasing-Orsi Sopron:
"In the first period of the game, we played good, what it was not easy against Bourges’ good defense. In the 3rd quarter we played not our basketball. But I´m very happy, that we could come back in the game, we fought a lot, and played so, what I would like to see from our team over 40 minutes. We had luck, too, because we had a jolly joker on the bench, Anna Vajda, who played phantastic in the last quarter!"