UMMC Hang On To Force Decider

02.02.2007

UMMC Ekaterinburg survived a dramatic finish to level their Eighth-Final play-off with MKB Euroleasing at 1-1 with a 71-69 victory on Friday.

Having lost Tuesday's opener 86-76, UMMC needed victory to force a deciding game on Wednesday.

However, MKB looked well on course to victory as they went into the locker rooms at half-time with a 45-33 advantage after Bernadett Nemeth sank a three-ball with 23 seconds left in the second period.

The lead stayed in double-digits for much of the third period, but Cheryl Ford began to close the gap for UMMC with a jump shot that made it 49:41 with 5:47 left in the period.

Suzy Batkovic then made a three-pointer as they continued to close the gap and Lindsay Whalen put them ahead 52-51 with two free throws with a minute left in the third.

Ivana Matovic split a pair from the charity stripe to tie it back up at 52-52 but Batkovic's three-pointer in the final seconds of the period meant UMMC started the final frame 55-52 ahead.

They managed to keep their noses in front but it was never by more than a handful of points and MKB launched a late rally, moving to within three at 70-67 on Matovic's jumper with 1:39 left.

Batkovic missed for UMMC, but after a time-out Andrea Balas-Pirine Karolyi was also off target for MKB.

UMMC's Elena Karpova tried to finish it with a three-pointer but missed again.

Matovic could not get open for a three-pointer, and had to settle for a jump shot that made it 70-69 with 29 seconds left.

But they could not get in a foul until the clock clicked down to eight seconds, and Adia Barnes split a pair from the charity stripe to ice the
game.

Batkovic finished with 18 points for UMMC while Whalen had 14. Ford scored 13 and grabbed 15 rebounds.

Reka Cserny scored 13 points to lead five MKB players in double figures.


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