Kozachka - Zalk 80 vs. MiZo-Pecsi VSK 72

25 February 2005

After the loss in the first EuroLeague Women 1/8 Play-Off game in Pécs on Tuesday, Kozachka-Zalk came out this evening and played like a different team.

The Ukrainian side produced the upset of the night to beat Pecs 80-72 and send the series to a game three in Hungary.

They took the MiZo-Pécsi player by surprise from the very start, taking a 9-0 lead by the 6th minute with Olla Lyashkova and Lyubov Alyoshkina the main protagonists for the hosts.

Olena Fen'ko had 11 points for Kozachka
Pécs, however, pulled themselves back into the game, point by point, and by the first break had reduced the gap to three points, 20-17.

In the second period, Kozachka's Maryna Khabarova (20 pts) took over the scoring, hitting everything from outside and rendering Pécs' tough defence useless. The Hungarian press was also no match for young Olexandra Gorbunova who followed Khabarova's example and proved almost unstoppable from inside and outside the paint. Gorbunova finished with 16 points. 

By the half the locals had stretched their lead to a 10 point advantage, 43-33.

Coming back after the half-time break, both teams fought for control of the game with Kozachka hanging onto a lead which swung between 13 points and 8 points over the 10 minute period. Khabarova provided some additonal excitment on the buzzer, hitting an enormous shot from the half-way line as time ran out.

Pécs made a final push in the last quarter, tightening up the defence like a vice and allowing the hosts their first points only in the 6th minute. Timea Beres and Koral Hlede were strong for the Hungarian champions and with one minute left they had reduced the gap to 7 points, 76-69.

Laszlo Ratgeber's timeouts in the final minute were not enough, however, to help Pécs and Kozachka were able to score twice to secure victory. The series returns to Pécs next week for the deciding game of which team goes through to the Quarter-Finals.

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