Tina And Ticha Turn On Style For Spartak

30.01.2007

Spartak Moscow Region stormed into the EuroLeague Women play-offs with nine victories in Group A and if Tuesday's thrashing of USK Prague is any indication, they could make it all the way to the Final Four.

Tina Thompson poured in 25 points and Portuguese guard Ticha Penicheiro scored 10 in the first quarter when Spartak took control as the Russian team romped to an 82-54 victory.

Natalia Hejkova's team will attempt to sweep their Czech opponents in Prague when the best-of-three series eighth-finals series resumes on February 2.

Czech international Michaela Pavlickov√° landed some blows early on, but she alone was never going to be enough to beat a team of world class talent.

Thompson was 11-of-14 (78.5%) inside the arc. She dished out three assists and also pulled down eight rebounds.

The 1.87m forward and Penicheiro hit the Czech team hard in the opening period.

Penicheiro passed to Thompson, who buried a jumper early on for an 8-6 lead, and then the Portuguese added two free throws.

Spartak led the rest of the way.

Two Pavlickov√° baskets sandwiched USA international Diana Taurasi's three-ball to leave Spartak with a 13-10 lead, and the teams continued to trade blows.

Penicheiro's three-pointer was followed by Sviatlana Volnaya's lay-up for USK Prague, but the pressure eventually told on the Prague team.

Tamika Whitmore made a jump shot, and Thompson added a three-point play to leave the visitors trailing, 21-12.

Prague tried to keep it close, but the home side pulled away with Thompson taking her points haul to 17 right before half-time with a jumper for a 49-32 advantage.

Hejkova's troops scored the first two baskets of the second half and stayed in command.

There was a huge disparity in field goal percentage inside the arc, with Spartak making 26 of 48 (54.1%) compared to 18 of 47 (38.2%) for Prague.

Volnaya led the visitors with 13 points.


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