Fenerbahce Win Classic Against Lotos PKO BP
Fenerbahce edged Lotos PKO BP Gdynia in overtime on Wednesday to advance to the Quarter-Finals of the EuroLeague Women play-offs.
Esmeral Tuncluer's three-pointer for Fener with 15 seconds remaining knotted the Eighth-Finals Game 3 decider at 63-63 and then the home side made six free throws in the final 25 seconds of the extra period to win 79-76.
Even then, the outstanding USA international Tamika Catchings almost sent the game to a second overtime but her attempt from three-point land at the buzzer stayed out.
The finish completed a remarkable tie with all three contests going to the wire.
Catchings, arguably the USA's most valuable player at last summer's Olympics when they captured a gold medal, had 26 points, eight rebounds and four steals.
Canada international Tammy Sutton-Brown, a teammate of Catchings with the WNBA's Indiana Fever, had a game-high 28 points - 18 in the first half - and 11 rebounds for Fener while Turkey international Nevriye Yilmaz was immense yet again for the club with 17 points and 11 boards.
Fenerbahce dominated the boards, out-rebounding the Polish giants 40-26 but Lotos stayed in their game with their excellent three-point shooting. At one stage, they were nine of 20 before finishing nine of 22 (40.9%).
Alana Beard scored 22 points - 12 in the first half - in defeat.
Lotos PKO BP landed some telling blows in the second quarter and opened up their biggest lead at 32-21 after Catchings buried one of her five three-balls to take her points haul to 14.
Sutton-Brown reeled off the next six points of the game to stop the bleeding for Fenerbahce and the home side ended up going to half-time trailing 39-34.
Early in the second half, Fenerbahce tied the game at 44-44 after baskets from Nalan Ramazanoglu, Nevin Nevlin and Yilmaz.
The contest then remained tight until the end of regulation and all the way through overtime.
Yilmaz scored two straight baskets - a lay-up and a jumper midway through the overtime - for a 69-65 lead and Fener stayed in front the rest of the way although they had to make their free throws to stay in front.