UMMC Ekaterinburg broke open a close game midway through the first quarter and stormed to a 79-55 victory over Galatasaray on Tuesday.
In the EuroLeague Women Eighth-Finals Play-off opener, UMMC needed a little over four minutes to take command.
|Cappie Pondexter torched Galatasaray with 10 points in the first half|
On top 8-7, UMMC got a Cappie Pondexter three-ball, a Deanna Nolan jump shot and two Candace Parker free-throws to spark an 18-7 run.
That gave the Russian outfit a 26-14 advantage and it never looked back.
By half-time, the blowout was on with UMMC holding a 48-24 stranglehold on proceedings and they stretched the lead to 34 in the third quarter before cruising to a decisive victory.
Pondexter played just under 24 minutes and had 12 points - 10 in the first half.
Agnieszka Bibrzycka, named a starter for Europe in the EuroLeague Women All-Star Game, led UMMC with 17 points.
Anne Wauters and Parker contributed 12 and 10 points, respectively, while Maria Stepanova had a game-high 10 rebounds to go with her nine points.
For Galatasaray, new signing Tamika Catchings played and scored just seven points.
Sophia Young led the Turkish team with 18 points.
Game Two in the best-of-three tie is on Friday in Istanbul.
Galatasaray guard Esra Sencebe:
"We didn't play well in defence tonight - lacked concentration, gave the opponent opportunity to score easy points and make a substantial advantage. In the second half we improved our team work and played much better. Now UMMC are leading - 1:0, but we'll try to win at home."
Galatasaray head coach Zafer Kalaycioglu:
"UMMC is a very strong team, and it is a hard task to play against them."
UMMC head coach Gundars Vetra:
"Tonight we've played with a very good team, whose players enter the strongest five players of the world (Catchings, Young). I am very satisfied with our win. We made an early scoring burst, it helped us to play well the first three quarters. As for the last ten, we let all our players to step the ground, and the opponents' five played better. However, we will not let Galatasaray win easily in Turkey."
UMMC guard Deanna Nolan:
"We came out to play in good condition, set the tone pretty good, quickened where we needed to, slowed down where we needed to, were good in three-pointers, opened the coloured area for the big girls. Good start helped us to win. "