CSKA Fall To Resilient Avenida After Thriller

04.02.2009

Halcon Avenida and their passionate fans in Salamanca will be partying into the early morning hours of Thursday after stunning CSKA Moscow in double overtime to advance to the EuroLeague Women Quarter-Finals.

In the Game 3 decider, the Spanish outfit prevailed 83-74.

Anke De Mondt's three-pointer late in regulation knotted the game at 60-60 to force the first extra period.

Then the outstanding Donnette Snow drilled a three with just four seconds left in overtime to send the contest to a second OT.

With the game level at 68-68 in the second extra period, Avenida made five straight free throws - four by Spain international Isa Sanchez - and stayed on top for the remainder of the game.

CSKA led by as many as 12 points in the first half and were on top 49-36 with 3:57 to go in the third period after a Becky Hammon three-ball.

Avenida outscored CSKA 8-2 to end the frame and trailed 51-44, and they continued to scratch and claw their way back before tying the game with De Mondt's three-pointer.

With 58 seconds to go in the first overtime, Edwige Lawson-Wade's jump shot gave CSKA a 66-63 lead but Snow launched and hit her only three-pointer of the game to send the game to the second overtime.

After Ann Wauters tied the game at 68-68, Snow was off target with a jumper and CSKA had two chances to take the lead.

Lawson-Wade failed to connect from behind the arc but Olexandra Gorbunova grabbed the offensive rebound.

Young Spanish international Silvia Dominguez intercepted a pass by Wauters, though, and was later fouled by Gorbunova.

She split one of two at the line and after Lawson-Wade again missed from long range, Sanchez drew a foul.

Sanchez went on to make the four free throws and Avenida celebrated one of the finest nights in their recent basketball history.

For CSKA, the defeat closes a disappointing and bizarre campaign in the EuroLeague Women.

During the Regular Season, the club almost went out of business and even forfeited a game before new owners were found.

The team's coach, Gundars Vetra, left to lead UMMC Ekaterinburg and that paved the way for ex-CSKA and Russia boss Igor Grudin to return to the helm.

CSKA made the play-offs, but suffered their earliest exit from the post-season since 2004.

Avenida out-rebounded CSKA 39-34 with Snow pulling down 14 of those boards.

She also led the winners with 23 points.

Sanchez had 13 points while CSKA got 21 from Wauters.

Hammon also weighed in with 20.

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