|Becky Hammon had a team-high 16 points in Sparta&K's comeback win over Wisla|
Turning Point: While the devastating 10-0 start to the fourth quarter effectively killed off Wisla Can-Pack it was the uplift in three-point shooting by Sparta&K during the third period which got them back into the game.
Game Hero: Evgenia Belyakova came off the bench for Sparta&K and made a huge impact with three priceless triple from just four attempts.
Stats Don't Lie: Sparta&K M. R. Vidnoje usually shoot the ball well from downtown but were 1-9 in the first half. They were an eye-popping 9-11 in the second half and this sea-change in the conversion rate was the story of the game.
Four-time champions Sparta&K M. R. Vidnoje became the first team to claim a EuroLeague Women Final Eight victory after shooting down Wisla-Can Pack 77-70 in the Abdi Ipekci Arena in Istanbul.
Without the experience of Russian national team centre Irina Ospipova and the dynamic Jelena Milovanovic, it looked a long way back for Pokey Chatman and her short-handed team after a potentially disastrous 16-2 start.
But, showing their strength of character and champion spirit, they recovered and posted a blistering second half shooting display from downtown to leave a shocked Wisla Can-Pack trailing in their wake.
The Polish club had dominated the first quarter with their aggressive approach paying dividends. Strong defence set the tone for them to race into a 14 point lead, helped by a pair of three-pointers by Anke De Mondt.
Coach Chatman called a much needed time-out for Sparta&K and this not only solved their offensive drought but also shored up their leaky defence. The uplift in defensive intensity was palpable and they posted a 12-2 run either side of the first quarter break get to within a point of Wisla during the second period.
But, their polish opponents scored the next eight points and that helped them pull away again and establish a 35-29 half-time advantage which they extended to eleven after the re-start.
However, Sparta&K began to warm up from three-point range and then got hot from outside as they began to fight their way back with a great run as a Jelena Skerovic triple put them 44-42 in front.
Their devastating three-point shooting streak continued into the final quarter and having made five in a row from the arc, it spelled the end for Wisla as Sparta&K secured a precious first day win.