|Dewanna Bonner made the go-ahead shot as Nadezhda inflicted Fenerbahce with their first loss|
Nadezhda inflicted a first loss of the season on Fenerbahce after clinching a nail-biting and dramatic 65-64 home-floor success in EuroLeague Women Group B.
In an entertaining contest between two closely matched teams, the result was still hanging in the balance right up until the last few seconds when DeWanna Bonner made the decisive score.
The opening half saw both teams enjoying periods of dominance, with Fenerbahce storming into a commanding 26-15 first quarter lead only for Nadezhda to outscore their opponents 23-9 during the second period.
It set up an absorbing second half as firstly Nadezhda sensed victory, moving in front 46-35 courtesy of a three-pointer by Renee Montgomery.
But Fener exploded with a 21-8 run either side of the final quarter break to regain the lead.
Nadezhda looked to have lost their impetus, especially when Angel McCoughty sank two free-throws with less than 30 seconds remaining to put the visitors ahead.
However, Bonner had the last say with the game-winning basket as she finished with 16 points and nine rebounds.
She was well supported by Zane Tamane who had 11 boards and also Natalia Zhedik who had an excellent 19 points, five rebounds and three assists.
It proved an unhappy first return to Orenburg for Anastasiya Verameyenka who was unable to make much of an impression.
Cappie Pondexter impressed for the losing team with 14 points.
Nadezhda head coach Alexander Kovalev
"I must admit that our team co-operation is not perfect so far and also the team has not been brought to full strength. Today in the first quarter we couldn't make the defence active and aggressive. But we found the weak side in the opponents' defence and started to make baskets from this zone. It has been a hard match today, but after such games the mood to win in next games rises up. And of course, our home place and our fans really helped us. Thanks a lot to them!"
Nadezhda player Zhedik Natalia
"I am very glad that we managed to win today's match. We had been getting ready for this meeting. We needed only victory today! I am really tired but happy that we could put the squeeze on our opponents!"
Fenerbahce head coach Roberto Iniguez
"I am very sad because of our defeat. In spite of a good start we lost the game. We couldn't make a basket in simple game situations; it was hard to fight against DeWanna Bonner. I think she was in top form. All in all Nadezhda was stronger and maybe wanted to win more today. We had a successful first quarter but then apparently we relaxed and believed in an easy victory. As a result we failed in defence. I would like to congratulate Nadezhda, the head coach and all the players and fans - you deserved to win this match.
Fenerbahce head coach Anastasiya Verameyenka:
"It has been a really difficult match today. We set ourselves up for fighting, came here to win, but unfortunately we couldn't make it right. There were a lot of turn-overs, individual and team mistakes. Our opponents totally outplayed us in the second quarter. My congratulations to Naezhda and all the fans."