|Agnieszka Bibrzycka's 10 points and 4 rebounds were not enough to avoid the loss for Ekaterinburg|
Fenerbahce S.K. came out on top in the battle of the heavyweights in Group B of EuroLeague Women as they handed UMMC Ekateriburg a first Qualifying Round defeat on their home floor in almost three years.
Diana Taurasi drained five triples on her way to a game high 23 points to help the Turkish giants to a famous 73-67 road win as they preserved their unbeaten status.
The home team were beaten up on the glass and seemed to miss the interior efficiency of Ann Wauters while they were also punished by their perimeter shooting which was nowhere near as deadly as that of the visitors.
For most of the game Fenerbahce held the upper hand and always looked the most likely team to emerge victorious and so it proved.
They started really well after Taurasi drilled home a three-pointer to hand them a double digit lead at 14-4 in less than five minutes. The home team worked their way back with a 12-2 run and Cappie Pondexter tied things up but when Taurasi drained another downtown shot to finish the first period, Fenerbahce were back ahead at 24-16.
There was a touch of déjà vu about the second period as again the hosts worked hard to get themselves back into the contest and with less than a minute to go Sandrine Gruda levelled matters at 35-35. However yet again Taurasi finished the scoring from outside with another three restoring the lead for the visitors.
Fenerbahce still led by three points heading into the fourth although with four minutes remaining Maria Stepanova pulled Ekat level once more at 63-63.
Again the home team couldn't get a lead and Fenerbahce never looked back after successive triples by Birsel Vardarli put daylight between the teams again and more or less sealed the deal.
Penny Taylor weighed in with 13 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists for Fenerbahce while Crystal Langhorne impressed for the losing team with 17 points from 8 of 9 shooting inside.
"Tonight two of the best European teams have been playing, two very strong opponents.
We didn't start well, and this prevented us from doing our best. However, we managed to level off the game. Our opponents were lucky tonight - they scored from unusual positions. And fortune is often on the stronger side. They played a little better tonight than we did."
Fenerbahce Head Coach Laszlo Ratgeber:
"I am happy to be back in this gym. It was great atmosphere here. We controlled all the game from the beginning to the last minute. UMMC didn't lead tonight. We were lucky, but I think, we've deserved this win. The purpose of our team for this season is to go the Final Four, because Fenerbahce has never played in Final Four. And if we be there, we'll never stop!"
Fenerbahce Forward Penny Taylor:
"It was very nice for me to come back to the team, where I played two years. It was a good game, and two good teams. We started really aggressively, showed a great play and accomplished a lot. It was a test for us, because the opponent was strong."