|Sancho Lyttle led the way for Galatasaray in a one-sided game, picking up a 16-point, 13-rebound double-double|
Galatasaray wasted no time in underlining the gulf in class between themselves and EuroLeague Women newcomers Novi Zagreb, starting rapidly to cruise to a comprehensive 77-50 win in Group C.
With a mountain to climb before tip-off, the last thing the Croatian visitors needed was a reminder of their opening night mauling at the hands of their hosts, but Galatasaray laid down their authority in brutal fashion with a devastating seven minute spell at the start of the game.
They outscored Novi Zagreb 21-0 from the tip-off and much to the relief of the visiting team, they finally got the scoreboard moving with a nice 10-2 finish to the opening period to add a hint of respectability to the deficit.
It also meant avoiding the dreaded spectre of a potential scoreless quarter, something which had looked a realistic possibility at one point with the home side shooting over 90% from the floor and Novi Zagreb stone cold in the extreme.
To their utmost credit, the Croatian side showed plenty of heart and real character by outscoring their opponents 19-15 during the second period, but normal service was restored when the teams returned for the second half.
Galatasaray cruised to the victory, although 21 turnovers is likely to irritate head coach Ekrem Memnun.
Sancho Lyttle had 16 points, 13 rebounds and three steals whilst Lindsay Whalen added an efficient eight points and eight assists.
Sandra Mandir had 16 points, eight rebounds and five assists for the losing team.
Galatasaray head coach Ekrem Memnun:
"Novi Zagreb is a new and young team. In Croatia, we had started the game so tough and won it, so we had to do it again in Istanbul. We started with a 21-0 run but when we couldn't score any more we let them score easily. We focused again and tried to play from the paint and succeeded. Our long-term injured players are adapting to the team now. Every day we're getting better. We don't want to lose any home game."
Galatasaray player Gülşah Gümüşay:
"We knew it was not going to be an easy game. They were not the same team that we have beaten at Zagreb. But we went out there to fight and actually did. The score at the beginning was 21-0. I think we did a very good job. I'm so proud of my team."
Novi Zagreb head coach Vladimir Ivankovic:
"We started very bad. We allowed Galatasaray to go on a 21-0 run and then we came back. We got really close, minus three, and then we stopped again. That was the end of our hopes. Galatasaray proved they're a very strong team, one of the favourites to win the title this year. Fowles was unstoppable, also Lyttle. We had a lot of problems stopping their inside play - they scored 46 points in the paint. Congratulations to Galatasaray. We have to face our main goal this season, to win the Croatian title."
Novi Zagreb player Sena Pavetic:
"We had a terrible start of the game. Galatasaray are really strong for 40 minutes, we couldn't do much better than that."