High Drama In Prague As ZVVZ Edge Champions

Having not lost a game for almost 18 months, Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje crashed to a second defeat in three games after USK Prague finally got off the mark with a nail-biting and thrilling 73-72 home floor success against the defending EuroLeague Women champions.

After losing their opening two games including a previous home tie with Halcon Avenida in dramatic circumstances, there was an understandable collective sigh of relief as the ambitious Czech club avoided going 0-3.

This success puts them on the same record as Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje who couldn't build on their emphatic win over Galatasaray MP last week.

Just as in their previous defeat in the Group against VICI Aistes, they almost dug themselves out a hole. Only this time even the presence of Lauren Jackson couldn't prevent the same outcome.

The fingernails were certainly being chewed by the home fans when with three seconds remaining, their four point lead became just one after a big triple by Anete Jekabsone-Zogota but time ran out for the visitors as the home team clung on.

Central to their success were the respective contributions of veteran duo Delisha Milton-Jones and Eva Viteckova who both racked up 22 points while Lindsay Whalen chipped in with 16 points and 7 rebounds.

Equally as important and perhaps the ‘X-factor' in the game was the 11 rebounds secured by the hard working Petra Kulichova before she eventually fouled out.

Both teams enjoyed spells when they had the upper hand in the first half with USK Prague racing out into a 17-10 lead only for the visitors to finish the first quarter with a 12-2 run to change the momentum.

The second quarter was almost an exact opposite of the first with this time Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje making the early running and extending their advantage only for the hosts to finish the stronger and lead 40-38 by the end of the period.

Leading 56-50 towards the end of the third, USK Prague were beginning to look like they might ease away but a triple by Epifaniya Prints reduced the deficit and the visiting team then led with just over seven minutes remaining after a basket by Ilona Korstin.

However it was to be the last time they would be in front as USK Prague began to apply the pressure and made their move down the stretch to edge out the champions.

Prints finished with 15 points and 8 assists for the losing team.


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