ZVVZ USK Prague took over sole possession of third place in Group C of the EuroLeague Women on Wednesday night with a resounding 78-58 triumph over Tarbes in the Czech Republic.
Having lost to the French team in the second week of the Regular Season by four points, Lubor Blazek's side hit nine of 18 shots from behind the arc and rolled to victory.
The winners improved to 4-3 while Tarbes slumped to 3-4.
Tarbes trailed 18-17 early in the second quarter when Prague seized the initiative with a 15-0 run.
Lindsay Whalen was the biggest problem for the visitors as she reeled off eight consecutive points, which made it 27-17 in favor of the hosts.
Whalen, who won a gold medal in the country in October with the United States at the FIBA World Championship, finished with 17 points.
Delisha Milton-Jones (17 pts) and Tereza Peckova followed with three-pointers for a commanding 33-17 lead.
Tarbes managed to claw their way back and pulled to within 36-28 on a jumper by Jelena Dubljevic.
Markéta Bednárová replied with a three-ball and Whalen followed with a bucket to take the lead back to 13.
Ivana Matic helped Tarbes remain within striking distance.
Her three-point play reduced the Prague advantage to 51-41 with 4:08 to go in the third quarter.
Prague stormed right back and went to the fourth period with a 58-42 lead after Katerina Elhotova drilled one of her four shots from the arc.
With 3:12 to play, Florence Lepron scored on a fast break to again cut the Prague lead to just 66-56.
Eva Viteckova this time answered with a three-pointer for Prague and Elhotova stroked another to take the advantage back to 16.
Prague's 20-point victory has given them a +16 goal differential in their games with Tarbes, something that could come in handy for Blazek's side if a tie-breaker is needed at the end of the Regular Season.
Matic had 18 points and 10 rebounds for Tarbes, who also got 16 points, seven boards and five assists from Dubljevic.
Alain Jardel, Tarbes coach:
“We played really bad basketball today. Looking at the statistics, it was impossible to win the game. We lost 20 offensive rebounds and had 18 turnovers. It is going to be difficult to continue in this competition but there are still three games remaining and everything can happen. The players were nervous; we just didn’t have a good day today.
Florence Lepron, Tarbes player:
“ZVVZ USK were really controlling the rebounds and when you make so many turnovers you can’t win. We had lots of second chances but if you are not in control, you can’t win.”
Lubor Blažek, ZVVZ USK Prague coach:
“As the coach of Tarbes said, they didn’t have their day today. Maybe we have finally shown that we are a better team. We wanted to avenge our loss in Tarbes, which we did. We had bad shooting percentage and Tarbes gave us a hard time in our defensive rebounds.”
Eva Vítečková, ZVVZ USK Prague player:
“From the beginning it was a very nervous game. We knew that we had to win tonight. We are expecting another difficult game next week against Sparta&K and only today´s victory against Tarbes could get us into positive mood for that next game. We bore heavily the loss at Tarbes earlier in the season. In the first quarter we had about 40 shot attempts but we made only about 12. We were nervous or we underestimated the situation. I think we made the difference nearere the end of the game when we started shooting better.”