|35. Erin Lawless led Good Angels Kosice in scoringwith 15 points against Taranto|
Good Angels Kosice kept the pressure on Group C's second place team Sparta&K Moscow Region in the EuroLeague Women with a 68-56 triumph over CB Taranto on Wednesday evening.
Erin Lawless led a balanced attack with 15 points as Stefan Svitek's team won for the third straight time to improve to 7-4.
In the first EuroLeague game of 2012 for both sides, Miljana Bojovic had a terrific all-round performance with 14 points, eight assists and six rebounds for the Slovakians, and Natalia Vieru pulled down a game-high 12 rebounds and scored nine points.
Good Angels led from start to finish, with Vieru's lay-up and a three-point play from Lawless giving them an early 5-0 advantage.
The Italians never allowed the Kosice outfit to be comfortable, though.
Kayla Pedersen led Kosice with 10 points in the first half but they only went to the changing rooms in front, 34-28.
The telling blows were landed midway through the third quarter.
On top 38-35, Kosice got a free throw and a jumper by Vieru, a lay-up from Bojovic and a three-ball from Lawless as they stormed into a 46-35 lead.
The hosts kept the pressure on and had a 56-41 advantage by the end of the third quarter.
The lead grew to 19 points early in the fourth but Taranto never gave up and reduced the arrears to 60-54 with 2:02 to go on a jumper by Elodie Godin.
Bojovic, coming out of a Kosice timeout, scored on a drive as the hosts kept their noses in front the rest of the way.
Taranto slumped to 4-7 with the defeat.
"Košice took 25 offensive rebounds and that fact decided about this match. We tried to recover this match back. When we lost only by 6 points in fourth quarter the home team's players scored important points and we had no more time for an answer."
Good Angels Košice Head Coach Štefan Svitek
"The game was developed exactly according to our expectations. We fought very hard to defend and we did a very good job. Our young team has mastered the difficult end of the meeting and the more I appreciate this victory."
Good Angels Košice player Erin Lawless
"It was a very hard match. Important from our side was, that we stayed focused during all the match. Now we can for a while celebrate, because we will play in play-offs definitely, but tomorrow we will start our preparation for the match in Moscow."