Strong Finish Gives Taranto 12-Point Lead Over Galatasaray


Cras Basket Taranto are closer to collecting silverware this season after beating Galatasaray 67-55 in the opening leg of the EuroCup Women Final.

Spurred on by their home fans, Taranto got a solid effort from Australia international Suzy Batkovic who poured in 15 points and hauled in nine rebounds.

Ilisaine David also contributed 14 points, including eight over the final 11 minutes when Taranto turned an eight-point deficit into a 12-point triumph.

Galatasaray had their biggest lead at 46-38 with 4:26 remaining in the third quarter after Esra Sencebe buried a jump shot.

Not long after and Cras Taranto coach Roberto Ricchini decided to call a timeout.

Whatever he said in the huddle worked because when play resumed, Galatasaray stopped scoring and Taranto turned up the defensive pressure.

David took over as the home side went on an 8-0 run bridging the third and fourth quarters to knot the contest at 46-46.

She scored the first four points in the spurt with a pair of free throws and a jumper.

After Michelle Greco added two more from the charity stripe for Taranto, Audrey Sauret-Gillespie drilled a jumper.

Seimone Augustus stopped the rot with a jump shot for Galatasaray, but David replied with two straight baskets to give Cras a 50-48 advantage and bring the home crowd to its feet.

Taranto led for the rest of the way and finished very strong.

After two Augustus free throws closed the deficit to 57-54 with 2:25 remaining, Taranto ended the game on a 10-1 run.

Greco converted two free throws, Anna Zimerle connected from behind the arc and Elodie Godin made a jumper.

Sophia Young buried just one of two free throws for Galatasaray, and Taranto's Megan Mahoney made a three-ball for the 12-point first-leg win.

The hosts did a lot of damage with their long-range shooting, making eight of 14 (57.1%) compared to a five of 13 effort for Galatasaray.

The Italians also forced the Turkish giants into 17 turnovers while committing just 12 themselves.

Augustus had a game-high 19 points in defeat for Galatasaray.

Taranto won't be fooled into thinking they have knocked Gala out.

Okan Çevik's team has already proved it knows how to overcome a large deficit in the second leg.

They lost the first game of their Semi-Final at Dynamo Kursk by 14 but stormed back with a 23-point victory in the Istanbul leg.

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