|Deanna Nolan shot nine-of-12 from the floor on her way to a team-high 20 points|
UMMC Ekaterinburg held off a late surge by Galatasaray in Istanbul to claim a 71-70 success in a game which underlined the EuroLeague Women title credentials of the heavyweight duo.
With so many global women's basketball stars on display, it was neither surprising this was a contest previewed as a potential Final Eight match-up next March, nor that it was subsequently decided by a solitary point.
Something had to give with both teams heading into the game without a loss to their name, and in the end, Ekat just had too much - although they almost handed Gala victory as the hosts finished with a flourish.
Diana Taurasi returned to her former club although she didn't exactly haunt her ex-employers, since she wasn't at her magical best, despite 16 points, seven rebounds and six assists for the winning team.
It was fellow guard Deanna Nolan who stole the show, claiming 20 points off the back of a superb nine of twelve shooting performance.
Both teams exchanged slender leads throughout the game, and it wasn't until Nolan scored back-to-back baskets in the final quarter to make it 67-61, that Ekat established the cushion they would need as their Turkish opponents launched a late, but narrowly unsuccessful salvage mission.
Despite the loss, Galatasaray fans were buoyed by the return of influential center Sylvia Fowles, and can also possibly look forward to Alba Torrens stepping onto the floor during coming weeks too.
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UMMC Ekaterinburg head coach Olaf Lange:
"We saw a game with two very balanced teams. We matched each other well. We were lucky enough at the end to win the game. I was not happy with the first half, we played under value and ability. We take a lot of learning lessons froum this game."
UMMC Ekaterinburg player Deanna Nolan:
"I wasn't also happy with the first half. Then we came more aggressive, made a lot of outside shots, kept leading."
Galatasaray head coach Ekrem Memnun:
"It was a great basketball game. Most of the game we played very good in defence and organized basketball. Late in the second half we made very simple mistakes, we let them score easy baskets. UMMC is one of the strongest team in EuroLeague Women, but we also believe that we will be a tough competitor, this was a test game. I'm proud of my players, anyway on the home court we should always win."
Galatasaray player Isil Alben:
"First of all we are very sad because we had a chance to win. But this is one of the hardest games, they have good players. People saw that we were very close to win and missing some players, we will get better."