Wisla Can-Pack Krakow go out of the EuroLeague Women 2005 tonight despite another stalwart performance against Russian giants Dynamo in the second game of the 1/8-Final series.
The narrow loss in Moscow earlier in the week had boosted the Poles' confidence and they came out tonight ready to cause an upset and force a third match-up.
Dynamo started the game the better of the two sides, Sue Bird and Oxana Rakhmalutina leading the attck from outside at first, later backed up by Elena Baranova and Elen Shakirova inside the paint. After the 5th minute though, Krakow had taken control, Iciss Tillis, Jelena Skerovic and Iva Perovanovic combining to give the locals a 10 point, 23-13 lead after 10 minutes. Dynamo struggled to score, managing a poor 4 points in almost 5 minutes of play.
|Elena Baranova had another big game for Dynamo|
Krakow lost rythmn in the beginning of the second period and Dynamo slowly picked their way back through a good team effort. After 13 minutes they were back at 24-22 on a jump shot from Bird.
Shannon Johnson and Perovanovic again stepped up and hit a couple of important baskets for the home side but Dynamo were hard to shake off and within one minute more Shakirova had tied the score 30-30.
With the ball going end-to-end over the next offenses with no result, it appeared that nerves had started to play a part for both teams, however Perovanovic and Johnson were able to put some points on the scoreboard in the final minute to give Krakow a 37-32 advantage at the half.
Coming out of the locker room, both teams struggled to score and made mistakes, turning the ball over at both ends of the floor. Once more Dynamo slowly pulled back and took the lead after four minutes, 40-41. Krakow weren't ready to let the Russians take control however and fought for every ball. The game stayed very tight until the next break, the lead changing hands several times before the end of the period with Skerovic and Tillis keeping the locals in the game and Natalia Vodopyanyova effective for Dynamo.
The close match-up continued through the fourth period, neither team allowing their opponent any chance of establishing any lead. Shannon Johnson really stepped up for Krakow and countered every Russian effort. Baranova was outstanding once again for Dynamo and it was largely through her team-manship that Dynamo were able to take theor final lead after 35 minutes and hold on to it through to the final whistle.
In the final minutes Krakow ran out of steam and the experience and strength of the Dynamo players became evident. Dynamo took the win 67-71 and go on to the Quarter-Finals after an unexpectantly tough couple of 1/8 Final games.
Shannon Johnson topped for Wisla Can-Pack Krakow with 18 points, backed up by Iva Perovanovic on 16 and Iciss Tilli with 14.
For Dynamo Moscow Nataliia Vodopyanova led the scoring with 15, Oxana Rakhmatulina had 13 and Elena Baranova 12 points and 12 rebounds.