UMMC Put Away Gritty Gdynia

12.10.2011

EuroLeague Women

7. Sandrine Gruda (UMMC Ekaterinburg), 11. Nevriye Yilmaz (Fenerbahce)
Sandrine Gruda was one of three players finishing with 14 points for UMMC Ekaterinburg

UMMC Ekaterinburg have finished third for the last four consecutive years in the EuroLeague Women.

They look to be on the way to another strong season after opening the 2011-12 campaign with a 68-57 victory at Lotos Gdynia.

The game featured two coaches who have changed addresses.

Algirdas Paulauskas, the Lithuania national team boss, had been in charge of Russian outfit Dynamo Kursk but Ekaterinburg lured him to the club as a replacement for Gundars Vetra following his move to BK Ventspils in the summer.

Javier Fort, the ex-coach of Rivas Ecopolis in Spain, is now holding the reins of Gdynia.

The Polish team began well enough, leading 6-4 four minutes into the contest after baskets by Aneika Henry, Geraldine Robert and Magdalena Zietara.

UMMC then took over.

Anete Jekabsone hit a three-pointer to spark a 17-0 run that she capped with a lay-up.

With Ekaterinburg on top 21-6, Jekabsone had nine of the team's points.

UMMC, with the wind in their sails, stretched their lead to 43-19 late in the first half.

After half-time, Gdynia emerged for the locker rooms at the third quarter with renewed determination and outscored the Russians 21-12 to trail 53-43 going into the last quarter.

When Robert intercepted a pass by Yelena Leuchanka and went in for a lay-up with 1:50 to go, the Polish team found themselves down, 61-54.

Paulauskas called a timeout.

After an Olga Arteshina miss from long range for UMMC, Ines Ajanovic had an opportunity to pull Lotos closer but was off target with a lay-up.

UMMC's Sandrine Gruda then earned a trip to the line and made two free-throws to calm the Ekaterinburg nerves and they went on to claim an 11-point win.

Robert had a game-high 17 points in defeat while Jekabsone, Gruda and Deanna Nolan ended up with 14 apiece.

Maria Stepanova had a game-high 14 rebounds to go with her 11 points.


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