Bonner And Rivas Survive Against Sopron

09.12.2010

EuroLeague Women

Rivas Ecopolis took a big step towards the EuroLeague Women post-season with a gritty 79-74 home triumph over MKB Euroleasing Sopron.

Thrashed 82-52 by the Hungarian team in the first Group B meeting between the sides back on November 3, Rivas gained a measure of revenge with a superstar effort from DeWanna Bonner.

The American had 33 points and 13 rebounds as the Madrid club improved to 3-4 and moved two wins clear of Group B's fifth-place team, Lotos Gdynia.

The top four sides will advance to the play-offs.

Anna Cruz led the Rivas defensive effort with five steals.

The game was close from beginning to end although the Spanish team went in front to stay nearly three minutes into the contest when a Bonner three-point play gave them a 7-6 advantage.

By the end of the first quarter, Bonner had 12 points and Rivas were on top 24-17.

Bonner's three-ball stretched the advantage to 10 at the start of the second frame and by half-time, the home side's advantage was 48-37.

Sopron have been excellent this season and they stayed within striking distance after the restart.

Norbert Székely's side pulled to within 64-61 at the end of the third quarter after baskets by Tijana Krivacevic (20 points) and Angel McCoughtry (17pts) .

Rivas went back in front by 12 early in the fourth quarter, only for Krivacevic and Sopron to storm back.

Krivacevic poured in eight straight points to cut the Spanish team's advantage to 73-69 with 1:51 to go and then McCoughtry scored on a fast break to make it a two-point game.

Fouled on the play, McCoughtry sank the free-throw to leave Rivas clinging to a 73-72 lead.

The visitors then had their chance to go in front after Bonner was off the mark on a jump shot but McCoughtry went to the other end and missed for Sopron.

Elisa Aguilar grabbed the rebound for the hosts and drew a foul by Katalin Honti.

The veteran Spain international sank both attempts from the line for a three-point lead.

USA international McCoughtry is unquestionably one of the best players in the world but she will want to forget Thursday's night game because she had eight turnovers, one of them coming on a travel on Sopron's next possession.

Honti again fouled Aguilar, who made no mistake with two more free-throws for a 77-72 advantage.

Amber Holt (17pts) scored on a fast break to make it a three-point deficit for Sopron with 19 seconds to go but the Hungarians again fouled Aguilar and she made two more free-throws to clinch the five-point win.

Rivas made 21 of 23 (91.3%) free-throws compared to an 11-of-12 (91.6%) night for Sopron.

The visitors hurt their own cause by turning the ball over 21 times, with McCoughtry the biggest culprit.

Sopron are still in third place at 4-3.


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