Brave Halcon Avenida Fall To CSKA


Halcon Avenida led by as many as 10 points in the first half and seven after the intermission, but lost to CSKA Moscow on Friday to exit the EuroLeague Women play-offs.

CSKA completed a 2-0 eighth-finals series victory to remain undefeated in all competitions and will now play in the last eight.

Maria Stepanova (CSKA Moscow)
Maria Stepanova had 16 points, 6 rebounds and 4 blocks
The Salamanca team reeled off the game's first seven points, capped by an Anna Montanana three-ball and enjoyed their biggest advantage at 31-21 with 5:58 remaining in the first half.

CSKA closed the gap to one, but a jump shot from Montanana and a three-pointer from Belgium international Anke De Mondt gave the hosts a 43-37 lead at the break.

The Russians kept the pressure on and cut the deficit to 58-55 after a three from Olga Arteshina with a minute remaining in the third quarter and another three from Rebecca Hammon at the start of the fourth tied the contest at 58-58.

That shot gave Hammon 19 points in the game, and she would go on to finish with a game-high 25, making six of eight shots from three-point range.

Ilona Korstin then put the Russians in front at 60-58, Maria Stepanova split two free throws and Korstin sank another jumper for a 63-58 CSKA advantage.

The Spanish side refused to give in.

Alessandra Santos sank a jump shot and De Mondt and Isa Sanchez hit back-to-back jumpers for a 64-63 Avenida lead.

Nicole Powell, who played for the Salamanca team last season when she was voted to the Rest of the World team for the EuroLeague Women All-Star Game, replied with consecutive three-balls to put CSKA back in front for good.

Hammon's 25 was a game-high while Stepanova finished with 16.

Montanana scored 14 to lead Halcon Avenida.

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