Final Four hosts a year ago, don't be surprised if Halcon Avenida make it back to the EuroLeague Women showpiece again if their 72-53 rout of Bourges Basket on Tuesday in Salamanca is anything to go by.
|Sancho Lyttle made 10 of her 14 two-point attempts|
Avenida rolled to victory in the opening game of the Eighth-Final Play-off tie with their superstar summer signing Sancho Lyttle leading the way.
Lyttle had 24 points and 10 rebounds while Belgian sharpshooter Anke De Mondt exploded for 17 points after burying five of seven shots from long range.
Le'Coe Willingham also turned in her usual solid performance with 13 points and seven boards for Avenida.
Bourges led 5-2 in the opening quarter when Alba Torrens connected from behind the arc for the home side.
Lyttle followed with two baskets - the second a three-point play - before De Mondt hit a short jumper.
The run continued until Silva Dominguez's three-pointer with 1:10 to go in the first quarter, a shot that gave the hosts a 23-5 lead.
Bourges never recovered, although they did claw the deficit back to 37-25 by half-time.
De Mondt drilled three of her three-pointers in the third quarter as Avenida pulled away.
Jordi Fernandez, Halcon Avenida Coach:
"The key was our very good defense in the first quarter. We only won a single game, I'm sure that on friday we will have a hard game"
L'Coe Willingham, Halcon Avenida:
"We are playing better game to game, but in France it will be a different game. If we are strong like today we wiill have options to win on friday"
Pierre Vincent, Bourges Basket Coach:
"We couldn't control Lyttle in first quarter. We must improve if we want to win and come back to Salamanca next week"
Styliani Kaltsidou, Bourges Barket:
"Our concentration in the first quarter was very bad. We were stronger later but not strong enough. I hope that we will have options at home on friday. I want to come back to Salamanca."