Parker Fires Ekat To Third Spot Again

01.04.2012

EUROLEAGUE WOMEN

Turning Point: With less than a minute remaining, Parker made it a two-shot game after grabbing a priceless offensive rebound and securing the put back for a crucial score.

Game Heroes: Candace Parker finished with a double-double of 16 points and 11 rebounds as well as five assists and three blocks. Meanwhile both Sandrine Gruda and Deanna Nolan excelled with the former the game's highest scorer after securing 18 points and the latter just missing one shot all night as she finished with 13 points.

Stats Don't Lie: 23 turnovers was just too many for Fenerbahce. And, with no Penny Taylor and Ivana Matovic fouling out in just nine minutes, it was always going to have an effect.

 

A double-double by Candace Parker fired UMMC Ekaterinburg to their fifth successive third place finish at EuroLeague Women after they finally overcame Fenerbahce 75-68 in an absorbing encounter.

Both teams started with a nice offensive rhythm and especially Ekat, propelled by Parker. The American forward/center was on fire as she made five of her first six attempts from the field and her 10 points in the opening period helped her team into a 27-20 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Ekat were shooting the ball incredibly well and while Fener were also doing a good job finishing at the hoop and making foul shots, turnovers were the reason they trailed by seven points.

They had also found it tough to get the ball to the influential Birsel Vardarli although she is never out of any game for too long and she drained a three-pointer to set the wheels in motion for a comeback by the Turkish club.

Trailing 31-22, they rallied and managed to outscore Ekat 12-4 to get themselves within a point.

However, Ivana Matovic was benched having picked up her fourth foul and when Ekat finished the quarter with a real flourish by scoring the last seven points including a banked triple off the glass by Sue Bird, Fenerbahce found themselves 42-34 behind.

When they returned to the court Fenerbahce were outstanding at both ends of the floor albeit helped by Nolan being benched with a fourth foul. They held a stuttering Ekat offence to just two scores in almost seven minutes and took full advantage offensively with the brilliant Zane Tamane and a determined Angel McCoughtry.

They not only gradually reeled Ekat's lead back in but even went 50-46 in front although their Russian opponent managed to sneak ahead 53-52 with a strong finish to the third quarter.

The last period was as intense and entertaining as anything seen during Final Eight with both teams trying to break the game open. Neither could manage it until the last 90 seconds when Parker scored successive baskets to help seal the deal.


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