Sylvia Fowles went off for 26 points as Galatasaray saw off ZVVZ USK Prague 81-69 to sneak into the last 16 of EuroLeague Women.
VICI Aistes' earlier victory over Tarbes made this a must-win for Gala, who take fourth place in Group C courtesy of a superior goal differential against Aistes.
|Sylvia Fowles had 26 points and 6 rebounds for Galatasaray|
After a close first-quarter, which ended with Gintare Petronyte giving Gala a 23-19 edge, the hosts scored the first six points of the second quarter as they began to pull away.
Their lead reached double-figures just before half-time as Seimone Augustus scored to make it 46-35 before Fowles added a lay-up.
They laid it on thick early in the second half, scoring the first 12 points to stretch their lead all the way to 25, 60-35.
The contest was all but over, but pride dictated Prague would fight back, with Eva Viteckova's three-pointer sparking a 15-2 run that brought them back into it.
However, the hole was too big and Gala can turn their attentions to the next round.
Augustus finished with 14 points, while Viteckova led Prague with 20 points, Edita Sujanova had 12 and Katerina Elhotova 11.
Ceyhun Yıldızoğlu - Galatasaray Medical Park Coach:
"We wanted to win desperately tonight. We all thought that we have to go on with a good performance. I’m happy because my team played as a team throughout the game. On the other hand we didn’t do our best until tonight. We lost some games badly during the group stage. Now we are going to play against a really strong team. And I know that we can be better and better. We became a team too late. We couldn’t have a team chemistry but I'm still optimistic for the Play-Offs. Tonight can be a new start for us. I trust my players.”
Sylvia Fowles - Galatasaray Medical Park Center
"I felt great on the court tonight but my teammates deserve a lot of credit for this. Everybody was focused. We knew that it was a very important game. We had to win and we came out with a win. We were really better on defence and USK Prague had no chance to beat our energy. There are very big teams in the Last 16. Fenerbahçe is one of them. When we last played against Fenerbahçe the game was very very close. Hopefully we are going to be better in the next one.”
Lubor Blazek - ZVVZ USK Prague Coach
"I would like to congratulate Galatasaray Medical Park. They did a really good job tonight. This is basketball."
Katerina Elhotova - ZVVZ USK Prague Guard
"I think it was a very tough game. They were better inside the paint. They had a lot of second chance points. And we couldn’t defend it. After all they were just better.”