Asjha Jones led a balanced UMMC Ekaterinburg scoring attack with 20 points on Wednesday as the Russian team remained unbeaten in Group C with a 94-64 victory at USK Prague.
The fans who showed up to watch the game in the Czech Republic were buzzing with excitement after Prague's last-second victory at rivals Gambrinus over the weekend.
|Lindsay Whalen had 16 points and 8 rebounds for ZVVZ USK Prague|
Ekaterinburg put the result beyond doubt in the second quarter, however.
On top 21-20, a Cappie Pondexter jump shot sparked a 15-0 run for the visitors that Prague never recovered from.
Laurent Buffard's team took a 48-30 advantage to half-time and with 4:26 to play in the third, the lead had ballooned to 66-38.
Ekaterinburg made 22 of their 26 attempts at the charity stripe, compared to a woeful 16 of 29 for Prague.
Buffard's team also hit 33 of 70 shots from the floor, including six of 11 (54.5%) from long range.
Prague were 23 of 59 overall and just two of nine from behind the arc.
Ekaterinburg's defense also forced Prague into 20 turnovers while committing just 10 of their own.
Prague are now 1-3.
Laurent Buffard (Coach UMMC Ekaterinburg):
"We knew this will be a difficult match, because we are playing against the team that conquered Ros Casares, so we had to be well prepared. ZVVZ USK is very strong team this season, but Sonia Kireta was injured, which changed a lot."
Lubor Blazek (Coach ZVVZ USK Prague):
"We were preparing for this game the same way as for another ELW games, but today, we hadn't a 100% belief in ourselves. We basically held good play in the first quarter, but the opponent was better in every aspects of the game during the other three quarters. Another thing is very poor percentage of made free throws and twenty turnovers is deadly in this kind of game. Ekaterinburg was often scoring after first or second offensive rebound, which made Ekaterinburg player confident. There was a point, where we lost contact with the opponent and after this point we had no chance to keep up. We have to keep working and getting ready for Gdynia. I congratulate our opponent."
Cappie Pondexter (UMMC Ekaterinburg):
"We were playing a good match the whole fourty minutes. We tried to show our strength, concentration and that we were prepared. I think we accomplished this, but also there are always things to improve."
Evanthia Maltsi (ZVVZ USK Prague):
"I completely agree with the coach. Our start was good, but it only lasted for ten minutes. Like Ekaterinburg, we have to focus and listen to the coach the whole match. After the first quarter we didn't manage to follow the agreed procedures and our game started to fall apart. Against opponent like Ekaterinburg it's impossible to succeed while making so many mistakes. I think there were about 40 points scored from our turnovers. We missed 15 free throws and it had a terrible impact on our confidence."