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Chevakata snatch victory from jaws of defeat

06.02.2008

Chevakata pulled off a terrific fourth-quarter comeback to stun Umana Reyer Venezia on Wednesday and beat the Italians to a place in the EuroCup Women Quarter-Finals.

Trailing by 12 points on aggregate (59-52) at the start of the fourth quarter, the Russian team then held their hosts without a basket for nearly eight minutes and ended up winning 69-62.

Shannon Johnson (Umana Reyer venezia)
Shannon Johnson had a season-high 32 points for Venezia
The margin of victory gave the visitors a two-point win over the two legs after a 72-67 home setback against Umana Reyer on January 31.

Chevakata sent out a warning as to what might happen when leading by as many as nine points in the first quarter.

Shannon Johnson led Umana Reyer back, however.

She had 18 points in the first half for the Venezia club and helped them lead 39-34 at the break.

Johnson, a 1.79m point guard and former USA international, hit both of her three-pointers, drilled all six free throw attempts and made three of six shots inside the arc in the opening 20 minutes.

All seemed to be going according to plan for the Italian team 49 seconds into the final period when Johnson's two free throws put them ahead by seven points.

The basketball gods then smiled on Chevakata.

Loree Moore had a couple of free throws, Elena Volkova buried consecutive jump shots and Tatiana Bokareva added a jumper to put Chevakata into a 60-59 lead with 3:38 remaining.

After Chevakata's Anastasia Pimenova and Johnson each split two free throws for their respective teams, Moore added four more from the charity stripe to give the Russians a 65-60 lead, and to level the score on aggregate with 37 seconds remaining.

Two more Johnson free throws made it 65-62 to keep the hosts' hopes of progressing to the last eight alive.

But after a Johnson turnover, Pimenova buried a three-ball which gave Chevakata a 68-62 lead.

Italy international Francesca Modica then missed for Umana Reyer and Chevakata rebounded.

Volkova added another free throw for the final score.

Johnson finished with a game-high 32 points in defeat.

The shooting drought in the fourth quarter killed Umana Reyer, and their rebounding also didn't help.

Chevakata had a huge advantage (43-28) on the boards.

They turned the ball over 24 times compared to just 16 for Umana Reyer but still managed to win the game.

Pimenova finished with 17 points to lead the winners, with Bokareva scoring 15 and Volkova weighing in with 14.

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