Prague Edge Sopron In Battle For Play-Off Place

20.01.2010

Lindsay Whalen scored 18 of her team-high 28 points in the second half to lead ZVVZ USK Prague to a narrow win at MKB Euroleasing Sopron and into the EuroLeague Women play-offs.

In a do-or-die battle between two 4-5 teams, Prague won 96-93 to snap a three-game losing streak in the competition.

Sopron, who had given themselves a chance of reaching the Eighth-Final Play-offs after winning their last two Group C games, saw their dreams of a return trip to the Final Four extinguished.

Sopron's Jelena Milovanovic led all scorers with 31 points.

The fans were treated to a thriller.

The game was knotted at 48-48 after a Katalin Honti three-pointer early in the third quarter for Sopron.

Sandra Le Dréan replied with a jumper for Prague and Whalen then drove in for a lay-up as the visitors took the lead for good.

A Katerina Elhotova three-ball gave Prague their biggest advantage at 71-62 with 28 seconds to go in the third quarter but Sopron refused to go away.

A pair of Edit Ratkainé Eördögh free-throws trimmed the deficit to 73-71 with 7:53 remaining in the game, only for Whalen to answer with a three-point play.

After going back in front at 90-83 with 1:02 to go, Prague had to withstand one final Sopron comeback.

Milovanovic hit a pair of three-pointers, the second with just seconds remaining to cut the deficit to 94-93.

Sopron fouled Whalen and the star of the night for Lubor Blazek's side calmly sank both free-throws to seal victory.

The Hungarian team accomplished its mission of neutralizing Prague center Sonja Kireta, who had just four points and turned the ball over five times.

Norbert Székely's side made its free-throws as well, drilling 20 of 22 (90.9%) compared to 15 of 21 (71.4%) for the winners.

Prague's long-range shooting was crucial.

They finished nine of 20 (45%), with Ieva Kublina a perfect three of three, Markéta Bednárová two of three and both Whalen and Elhotova two of four.

Sopron were seven of 17 (41.2%) from behind the arc.


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