EuroLeague Women defending champions Ekaterinburg clinched top spot in Group A after their defeat of Italian side Carichieti in the final game of the Qualifying Round.
Chieti’s chances of making the play-offs have long since ended, but they put up a good fight against the Russian Champions.
The first blow was struck by the home team and Ekaterinburg quickly led 5:0. The opening period was marked by nervousness on the part of Chieti, and head coach Claudio Agresti made numerous substitutions to try to find the right combination.
Ekaterinburg, on the other hand, were much more relaxed and played the entire quarter with their starting five. After 10 minutes they led 27:21.
The 2nd quarter saw the Italians settle down and come back into the game. A Kelly Santos shot put Chieti in the lead at 32:33 and both teams traded baskets over the next 2 minutes. The final minutes of the period went in favour of Ekaterinburg, and a final shot by Irina Ossipova gave them a 46:36 halftime advantage.
The third quarter belonged to Ekaterinburg which they opened with a 6-point run, and extended their lead to 52:36. The dominance of Yolanda Griffith particularly started to tell as she hit for 31 points and 10 rebounds.
Chieti produced a final quarter rally which saw them get back to within 9-points, but with just 44 seconds on the clock there was no realistic hope of a comeback.
Griffith’s 31 points came from a remarkable 7/7 shooting from the field and a season high 17/21 free throws. De Lisha Milton also had a double-double with 17 points and eleven boards.
Chieti’s Eva Nemcova was elected MVP of the game. She scored 19 points and grabbed 8 rebounds.