Fenerbahce Survive In Thriller

01.12.2010

EuroLeague Women

Rivas Ecopolis were just seconds away from shocking Fenerbahce on Wednesday when Diana Taurasi rescued the Istanbul outfit and kept it unbeaten in the EuroLeague Women.

Trailing 77-76, Taurasi drew a foul with nine seconds to go from Anna Cruz while attempting a shot from the arc.

Awarded three free-throws, she sank all of them and then Fener held on for a 79-77 win as Amaya Valdemoro missed a potential game-winning shot from long range.

Fener improved to 6-0 in Group B while Rivas fell to 2-4.

Nevriye Yilmaz had 24 points and seven rebounds for Fener, while Taurasi continued to pay dividends for the Turks following her move from Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje with 22 points - including the most important three at the end.

The MVP of the last two EuroLeague Women Final Fours also had eight rebounds and six assists.

Ivana Matovic weighed in with 17 points for the winners.

Courtney Paris had 19 points, Aguilar 18, Valdemoro 17 and DeWanna Bonner 15 for Rivas.

One week after winning a battle of unbeatens at UMMC Ekaterinburg, Fener looked to be in control when taking a 41-26 lead late in the first half.

Rivas then went on a 14-3 run that started at the end of the second quarter and finished two minutes into the third on a Paris jumper.

They took the lead for the first time midway through the third frame at 52-51 on a Bonner shot from long range.

Fener went back in front by seven in the fourth quarter, but couldn't put away the gritty side from Spain.

Javier Fort's team drew level again midway through the fourth at 70-70 when Valdemoro split a pair of free-throws.

Behind 76-74 after a Yilmaz basket, Rivas took the lead on an Aguilar three-pointer with 1:02 remaining and then had to chance to extend the advantage after Taurasi missed at the other end.

Aguilar was off target but Valdemoro grabbed the offensive rebound.

Yet as Rivas used nearly all 24 seconds on the shot, Paris was whistled for travelling.

Cruz then fouled Taurasi and the USA basketball icon made the game-winning free-throws.

Profligacy at the charity stripe cost Rivas dear.

They were eight of 16 (50%) while Fener were 11 of 12 (91.6%).

Rivas shut Fener down from long range, with the club hitting just two of 10 and Taurasi wayward on both of her attempts.

Aguilar was Rivas' biggest weapon, hitting four of five shots from behind the arc.


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