French champions Bourges have made to the last two Finals Fours and they look to have an excellent chance of making it back again if Wednesday's 79-49 thrashing of Besiktas Cola Turka is any indication.
Pierre Vincent's team, leading 34-31 at the start of the third quarter after Shay Doron's lay-up for Besiktas, got a basket from Alessandra Santos and three-balls from Celine Dumerc and Cathy Melain to start a 16-2 run that the Turkish club never recovered from.
Bourges, who out-rebounded the visitors 45-28, were on top 56-40 at the end of the third quarter and three and a half minutes into the fourth they had opened up a 25-point advantage.
Former Brazil center Alessandra, one of Bourges' big signings in the close season, led the French with 19 points and nine rebounds.
Veteran forward Melain scored 10, dished out 10 assists and also pulled down seven boards while rising star Endene Miyem poured in 16 points.
Besiktas got a team-high 18 from Laura Harper.
They were undone by 24 turnovers, including nine by Doron and seven from Harper
Coach Pierre Vincent (Bourges Basket):
“Before the game I was afraid about the 8 (DORON) and the 15 (HARPER), because I knew they are good players, but we didn’t know a lot of things about this new team in the Euroleague Women."
"We adapted our game very fast and I think it’s one of the keys of the game. In the first quarter we had a lot of open shoots but we didn’t score. Afterwards we began to score outside and inside, and with our good defense, it was easier."
Coach Aziz Akkaya (Besiktas):
“It was our first game of the season so it was really difficult. We have tried to fight against this strong team, but after the first quarter some players began to think we can win the game. So they shot too quickly and against a team like Bourges, if you shoot, you don’t have to miss."
"Next week, we play against MiZo Pecs, but an other American player arrives. So we are going to try to win and reach the 1/8 finals."