Taurasi On Song As Gala Dispatch UMMC


Galatasaray were recently named as hosts of the first-ever EuroLeague Women Final Eight.

They'll be among the favorites to win it if their early-season form is anything to go by because on Wednesday in Istanbul, Ceyhun Yildizoglu's team won for the third time in as many games in an 84-65 Group A demolition of UMMC Ekaterinburg.

Maria Stepanova twice gave UMMC leads of seven points midway through the second quarter but the visitors weren't able to press home the advantage.

After the Russian center made it 33-26, the wheels came off.

Cappie Pondexter fouled Tina Charles and the Gala center sank both attempts from the line.

Turkey national team guard Isil Alben then sank two free-throws before Diana Taurasi hit a three to knot the contest at 33-33.

Taurasi kept the pressure on by pouring in the next seven points in the game for a 40-33 Galatasaray advantage.

The home side was in front to stay.

UMMC cut the gap to five with a Gruda jumper four minutes into the second half but the Istanbul team had too much on the night and opened up a 59-46 lead with 10 minutes to go.

Baskets by Ivanka Matic and Taurasi at the beginning of the fourth quarter stretched the advantage to 17 and UMMC ran of out of steam.

Taurasi's game-tying three-ball in the second quarter that sparked her own 10-0 run was the only shot to go in from long range for Gala.

They finished one of 11, compared to five of 13 for UMMC.

A big difference was Gala's ability to get to the free-throw line, where they sank 17 of 20.

UMMC made four of six attempts at the charity stripe.

Taurasi had a game-high 27 points and Charles finished with 24. Charles also led all players with 14 rebounds.

Gruda's 17 points led UMMC, who fell to 2-1 in Group A.



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