Dynamo Moscow Capture Title

12.04.2007

Rebekkah Brunson and Anete Jekabsone-Zogota led the way as Dynamo Moscow hammered Faenza in the second leg to capture the EuroCup Women title.

The Russian team, having won last week 74-61 in Italy, finished with a 149-117 aggregate triumph.

Brunson, the 25-year-old who established the all-time rebounding mark at Georgetown University with 1,093 in her tremendous collegiate career, poured in 24 points, grabbed 13 rebounds and blocked two shots in Wednesday's second leg. Latvian international Jekabsone-Zogota buried five of seven shots from the arc and scored 22 points.

Faenza were hampered from the start due to an injury to star guard Simona Ballardini. Ballardini led her team in scoring throughout the competition at 16.9 points per game, but was unavailable for the second game of the final.

She picked up a shoulder injury in game one and although she travelled to Moscow was only questionable for the rematch.

In the end coach coach Paolo Rossi decided to keep Ballardini on the bench, and despite her absence the Italians made life very difficult for the home side in the first half.

Behind 18-15 after the first quarter, Faenza outscored Dynamo 20-10 in the second period to lead 35-28 at half-time - a scoreline which meant they trailed by just six points on aggregate.

Five different players scored in that quarter for Faenza which gave them a chance at snatching victory.

Dynamo and Brunson, in particular, emerged from the changing rooms with renewed determination.

The 1.91m center scored seven straight points to start proceedings. She began with a three-point play, followed with a lay-up and then added two more free throws.

Daliborka Jokic stopped the bleeding with a basket for Faenza with 7:31 to go in the third quarter.

After a lay-up by Dynamo's Russian international forward Tatiana Shchegoleva 28 seconds later to tie the contest at 37-37, Brunson resumed her dominance.

She caught a pass from Natalia Vodopyanova and sank a jump shot, and then went up strong for a lay-up after being fed by Nuria Martinez, who dished a game high six assists.

Following a three-ball by Spanish international Martinez, Faenza made one last attempt to get back into the game.

Maria Chiara Franchini, who led the Italians with 15 points, connected on back-to-back shots from the arc for a 45-44 lead.

A pair of Vodopyanova free throws put Dynamo back in front, but after Brunson split two from the stripe, Franchini struck again from long range to make it 48-47 in favour of Faenza.

It was the last time they would lead.

Jekabsone-Zogota hit from three-point range and Brunson added another lay-up, taking her points haul in the quarter to 15.

Dynamo then blew out their opponents in the final period, 24-6, to clinch the title.


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