Pondexter Heroics Enough To See off Riga

21 November 2007

Fenerbahce survived a valiant comeback by TTT Riga with Cappie Pondexter saving the day in a 71-69 victory in the EuroLeague Women.

Pondexter made a free throw with 11 seconds left and then stole the ball from Riga's Micaela Martins Jacintho just before the buzzer to secure the win.

Pondexter finished with 27 points, six rebounds, three assists and four steals.

Turkish national team center Nevriye Yilmaz collected 16 points and eight rebounds while Tammy Sutton-Brown chipped in 10 points for Fenerbahce.

Zafer Kalaycioglu's Turkish team improved to 2-1 in Group A with the victory while Riga dropped to 1-2.

Iciss Tillis totalled 15 points, including the three-pointer which finished off a 17-4 fourth quarter run to even the game at 68-68 with one minute remaining.

Olena Zherzherunova added 13 points and Elizaveta Kityzina had 10 in the loss.

Sutton-Brown scored six straight points in a 12-0 run which gave Fenerbahce an early 18-6 lead, and Pondexter's layup kept the Turks ahead 23-15 after one period.

Two more baskets by Pondexter early in the second quarter pushed the advantage 30-15.

Aigars Nerips's Latvians had trimmed the margin to nine points but Yasemin Dalgalar's three-pointer made it 40-28 and Fenerbahce led 42-32 at the break.

The gap grew to 17 points - 51-34 - on back-to-back long balls from Pondexter.

Riga would not get closer than 12 points the rest of the third quarter, which ended with the Turks ahead 63-49.

The lead was still 13 points after Sutton-Brown's free throw for 64-51 with nine minutes remaining.

But Kalaycioglu's team just couldn't find the basket and Riga took advantage of eight straight misses by Fenerbahce to close to 64-59 on Tillis's foul shots.

Pondexter finally made a basket for the Turks and Yilmaz's jumper re-established a 68-63 cushion with two minutes left, but Tillis evened the game at 68-68 on a three-pointer with 1:06 to play.

Fenerbahce guard Birsel Vardarli made two foul shots with 34 seconds to go and Martins Jacintho hit just one of two foul shots with 17 seconds left, setting up the final actions.

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