Galatasaray took a giant step towards a place in the EuroCup Women Semi-Finals with a 79-65 victory over Chevakata in Vologda, Russia, on Thursday.
Sophia Young (19 points), Marina Kress (18) and Seimone Delicia Augustus (16) led Gala in scoring.
Turkey international guard Isil Alben had 12 points and 12 assists for the winners.
|Tatiana Bokareva had 21 points for Chevakata|
Chevakata jumped out to a 12-4 advantage with Tatiana Bokareva scoring six of her game-high 21 points in that strong start.
Galatasaray battled back to close the gap to 14-12, only for a jump shot from the 1.91m center Bokareva to make it a four-point lead again.
The visitors responded with an 11-0 run, though, sparked by an Augustus lay-up and finished by a Young jump shot for a 23-16 advantage.
The home side kept its poise and didn't allow Gala to pull away.
Instead, a 7-0 run capped by an Anastasia Pimenova three-pointer trimmed the deficit to 36-33 before center Korel Engin scored the final basket of the first half for Gala as they went to the break on top by five.
The second half looked promising for the hosts.
Jump shots by Irina Sokolovskaya and Nakia Sanford at the beginning of the third quarter saw Chevakata reduce the arrears to 38-37.
Boris Sokolovsky's fighters kept the game close, with Loree Moore's lay-up making it a 58-55 early in the final period.
That's when Galatasaray lowered the boom with a 13-2 run that was capped by three consecutive three-pointers - two by Augustus and the other from Saziye Karsli - for a 71-57 with less than five minutes remaining.
Chevakata closed to within 11 but ended up losing by 14 and that means they have a mountain to climb when the second leg is played back in Turkey.
Boris Sokolovsky, Chevakata head coach:
"Today our players have not fulfilled the instructions we gave them. They were playing individually but not as a team."
Hakan Acer, Galatasaray head coach:
"Even though we managed to win today, the second game in Istanbul will be a very difficult one for us. Chevakata is a good team and we will be prepared for a close game two."