Spartak Prevail Again

22 November 2006

Spartak Moscow Region pulled away in the second half against MKB Euroleasing for their fourth successive victory.

Last year's EuroCup Women winners prevailed 76-59 after another excellent display from Tina Thompson.

If Lisa Leslie was their most valuable player last year, then that role is being filled by fellow USA international Thompson so far this season.

Thompson missed both of her three-pointers but inside the arc was 10 of 19 (52%). She also pulled down six rebounds.

She went into the game averaging 22.3 points and 12 rebounds in the competition.

Portuguese international Ticha Penicheiro, who was on last year's team, has also been excellent and she contributed 17 points, six rebounds and four steals against MKB Euroleasing.

Spartak led for virtually the entire game but MKB showed tremendous fight by battling back from a 20-7 deficit with 2:26 to go in the first quarter to trail 22-18.

The visitors closed the gap to just two points on three occasions late in the second quarter.

Andrea Balas-Pirine Karolyi's jumper with 5:11 to go in the first half made it 30-28, and Bernadett Németh scored to cut Spartak's lead to 36-34.

Finally, Ivana Matovic's jumper trimmed the deficit to 38-36 with 1:44 to play in the period, but they would get no closer.

Taking a 43-40 lead into the third quarter, Thompson and fellow American Taj MacWilliams started proceedings with consecutive jump shots and Spartak gradually opened a big lead.

Spartak struggled from three-point range, making one of 13 (7.6%) but were excellent at the free throw line, making 19 of 21 (90.4%) with McWilliams six of six (100%) and Penicheiro five of five (100%).

Matovic poured in 18 points in defeat.

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