CSKA See Off Spaniards

20 December 2006

CSKA Volgaburmash sit alone at the top of Group B in the EuroLeague Women after pulling away from reigning Spanish champions Halcon Avenida on Tuesday.

CSKA, looking to recapture the crown they lost last year to Gambrinus Sika Brno, prevailed 74-54 to improve to 7-1 on the season.

Bourges can also claim their seventh triumph in eight games with a victory at Dexia Namur on Wednesday.

CSKA trailed 5-3 two minutes and 15 seconds into the contest when Belgian international center Ann Wauters came to the fore, making two free throws to spark a 15-0 surge.

By the end of the opening quarter, Wauters had 10 points and her side led 18-5.

The Salamanca-based side, who have battled bravely in the EuroLeague this season, showed tremendous fight and clawed their way back with Nicole Powell's three-pointer reducing the arrears to 29-24 late in the first half.

The visitors from Spain would get no closer.

Olga Arteshina buried a jump shot and Amaya Valdemoro, CSKA's Spanish veteran, drained one of her four three-balls in the game to take the lead back to 34-24.

Halcon Avenida cut the gap to 42-34 midway through the third quarter on Laura Camps' three-point play.

But CSKA replied with Demya Walker feeding Wauters for a jumper, and after Edwige Lawson drained a three-pointer, Valdemoro sank back-to back three-balls for a 53-34 stranglehold on the contest.

CSKA cruised thereafter, with Lawson giving the home team their biggest lead at 65-40 early in the fourth quarter with another three pointer.

Halcon did not help their cause in the game as they turned the ball over 20 times, and they struggled shooting the ball, making just 16 of 48 (33.3%) inside the arc.

CSKA did much of their damage from long range where they were an eye-popping eight of 14 (57.1%).

Wauters had 19 points for CSKA while Valdemoro, who was four of six from three-point range, finished with 18 points.

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