EUROCUP WOMEN ROUNDUP
First time EuroCup Women entrants Istanbul Universitesi underlined their title credentials in real style by shooting down defending champions WBC Dynamo Moscow.
|Irina Osipova was key for Istanbul Universitesi in their undoing of defending champions Dynamo Moscow|
The ambitious Turkish club ran out 82-71 winners in Group D, to send out a message that they mean business and are looking to make a serious splash during their first year in the competition.
A fine 24-14 first quarter got them onto the front foot and they never relinquished their grip, managing to keep the title holders at arms' length for the most part.
Crystal Langhorne had 10 points and 11 rebounds for the winning team against her former club, having played a central role in taking them to the top of the podium last year.
Shenise Johnson and Russian veteran center Irina Osipova shared 32 points for the hosts, but it was arguably another vibrant and pivotal contribution from Nilay Kartaltepe which won the day, with the experienced guard dishing up nine assists.
Tina Charles shone in defeat with 22 points and 10 rebounds, as did Tatiana Vidmer with 11 points and 15 boards.
Elsewhere on Turkish soil, there was an entertaining encounter between Adana Botas and visiting Dynamo Kursk in Group A, with the visitors eventually squeezing out a narrow 65-62 success.
It was a one shot game with just under five minutes to play and that is how it ended, as Botas tried in vain to make a decisive run during crunch time.
Bahar Ozturk recorded 21 points and Michelle Snow had a nice double-double of 16 points and 12 rebounds, but it just wasn't enough for the home team.
They were undone by 15 points and six assists from Israeli star Shay Doron and a 20 point and nine rebound display from Candice Dupree.
There was history in Group F as PEAC-PECS made history by taking their first ever win in the tournament with a comfortable 68-48 win over Namur.
With no daylight between the teams at 22-22, the Hungarian hosts made a move and slipped through the gears, getting better as the game unfolded and coasting to their inaugural success.
A dominant performance on the glass helped the cause, as did Jamaican star Maurita Reid producing a majestic and near triple-double effort of 19 points, 10 rebounds and eight assists.
Home favourite Nora Nagy-Bujdoso added a valuable 17 points and only Djenebou Sissoko caught the eye for Namur, scoring an efficient 10 points and hauling down nine boards.
There was also history and jubilation for Norrkoping Dolphins in Group B, who also achieved their first EuroCup Women success with a thrilling 66-60 win against Dunav 8806 Ruse.
The Swedes found themselves 23-8 behind in the early stages, but completed a fight-back with a Frida Aili triple putting them 48-47 ahead.
And, thanks to big plays in the last ninety seconds of the contest from two other Swedish national team players in the form of Malin Aasa and Elisabeth Egnell, they held out for a landmark victory by scoring the last eight points in the game.
Aili stole the show with six assists and some fabulous shooting in an 18 point haul, whilst Egnell had 13 points and 10 rebounds.
The one bright spot for the Bulgarian visitors was the return to action of long-term injury victim Jaklin Zlatanova.