Wednesday night's EuroLeague match-up between Delta Kosice and Dynamo Moscow was a poignant one for home side Kosice.
Not only did they bid farewell to the EuroLeague for this season, virtue of their 72-89 loss, but they also said goodbye to Gwen Slaugher who is returning to the USA.
Delta played like a side with nothing to lose in the first half and it showed. The players were enjoying the game and their relaxed attitude worked in their favour. They raced out to an 11-4 lead and stayed in front for most of the first half.
|Jennifer Smith had 19 points and 8 rebounds for Kosice|
Delta hit 8 three-pointers in the opening 20 minutes and while Moscow struggled at first with the pace, they gradually began to find their feet.
Moscow's defense increased a notch towards the end of the second quarter and ominously for Kosice, Elena Baranova, Natalian Vodopyanova and Sue Bird began to get into the game.
It was Vodopyanova who gave Moscow their first lead, and it came in the last second of the first half, 47-49.
In the second half, Moscow's strength and depth really began to pay off. Kosice struggled to maintain the pace they had set at the start of the game, and they trailed by 10 points midway through the period.
It took Kosice 7 minutes to score their first basket in the last quarter, and in the meantime Moscow were able to put the game in the bag.
Vodopyanova finished with 21 points and 10 rebounds for Moscow and Bird added 18 points and 6 assists.