Umana Reyer Hold Off CSKA In EuroLeague Women Thriller

12.11.2008

Umana Reyer Venezia continued their fantastic start to the EuroLeague Women campaign by knocking off CKSA Moscow in Italy on Wednesday.

The Italian outfit won 66-63 to remain undefeated in Group B.

Coach Massimo Riga's team now has a two-game lead over CSKA and MKB Euroleasing, who won over Gambrinus earlier on the night.

Umana Reyer dug deep in this one.

CSKA, who parted with long-time star and Russia international Maria Stepanova last week, went on a 6-0 run bridging the first and secondĀ  quarters to open up a 23-14 advantage.

Ann Wauters, who had 18 points and 12 rebounds for CSKA, scored the last four points in that run.

But Umana Reyer came storming back and tied the game at 33-33 on a basket by Mery Andrade.

CSKA went back into the lead, only for Simona Ballardini to tie the game with a jumper and her fellow Italy international Giorgia Sottana to hit another for the advantage.

The Italians went to the break on top 39-35.

Umana Reyer looked as if they were finally seizing command at the end of the third quarter when they went in front 52-45.

The game wouldn't be decided until the very end.

There were two critical moments in the fourth quarter.

CSKA's Katie Douglas drilled a jumper to close the gap to 56-55 with 5:05 remaining, but after a timeout, Ballardini buried a three-pointer for the home side.

Umana Reyer went back in front by eight, only for CSKA to battle and again close the gap to 65-63 with 45 seconds remaining after a Wauters three-pointer.

Daliborka Jokic missed a shot for the hosts with 16 seconds left in the game, and the ball went back over to CSKA.

But with six seconds to go, Janel McCarville was off target with a jumper and Venezia rebounded.

CSKA had to commit four fouls before Umana Reyer went to the line and when they did, Jokic made one of two for the 66-63 win.

Vanessa Hayden-Johnson had 19 points and 13 rebounds and Sottana scored 14 for Umana Reyer.

Douglas led CSKA with 23 points.


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