Turning Point: Trailing by ten points midway through the second quarter and perhaps feeling a little twitchy, Kursk posted a 17-8 run either side of the interval to reel their opponents back to within a more manageable distance.
Stats Don't Lie: Istanbul Universitesi did a fine job on the boards to outshine the hosts, they also shot the ball slightly better. But, to overturn the large first-leg lead held by their opponents, they couldn't afford to commit 21 turnovers. Kursk made life difficult for themselves by making only 2-of-14 from the arc.
Game Hero: A smart all-action display of 14 points, eight rebounds, five steals and three assists from Candice Dupree kept the home team from potentially imploding and from a nasty shock.
|Candice Dupree top-scored for Kursk, adding eight rebounds, three assists and five steals|
Former winners Dynamo Kursk fell to a 57-62 home floor loss in the second leg of their EuroCup Women semi-final clash with Istanbul Universitesi, but still booked their second showpiece final slot in three seasons.
The cushion of a comprehensive 16-point success in Turkey from the first leg proved to be invaluable for Bo Overton and his players, who struggled to match-up effectively with the pesky visitors for long periods.
The overwhelming superiority of Kursk from the first game was long forgotten during a below-par display from the hosts and some terrific work from Istanbul.
The Turkish team were dreaming of an epic comeback and upset when their solid start was further enhanced by Liron Cohen firing them 30-20 ahead with a three-pointer.
It had Kursk rattled, but much to the relief of the home fans, their favourites found some composure and by early in the second-half, it was a one-shot game after successive buckets from Seimone Augustus.
Not that they could relax completely, since their guests continually made short bursts and threatened to build another worrying advantage on a couple of occasions.
Belarusian center Yelena Leuchanka made it 48-41 after consecutive scores under the hoop and moments later, a pair of free throws from Romanian international Gabriela Marginean extended the lead on the night a little further.
But, Augustus helped to ease the tension with some nice plays earlier in the fourth quarter and the home team rode out the storm to make it to the final.
Crystal Langhorne claimed 16 points and eight rebounds for Istanbul.
Istanbul Head Coach Hasan Firat Okul
"In Istanbul, our team played well, but Dynamo was successful. Today, we paid special attention to defence and did not allow Kursk to score as many easy baskets as was the case in the last game."
Kursk Head Coach Bo Overton
"In the first match, our team was able to show our game. We had a better implementation. I knew that Istanbul would show a different game here than at home. However, we did not let them play for the needed 16 points."