It was a grind, but Sparta&K Moscow Region beat Russian rivals Nadezhda on Wednesday to clinch a place in the EuroLeague Women Final Eight.
|Seimone Augustus was in top form again for Sparta&K to help them reach the Final Eight|
After trailing nearly four minutes into the second half, Sparta&K shifted into a higher gear and pulled away for an 82-67 victory.
Seimone Augustus underlined her status as one of the sport's premier players with 23 points, nine rebounds, three assists and two steals for Sparta&K, a club going after a fifth title in the last six years.
Early in the fourth quarter, Sparta&K were only on top 64-62 after a Katie Douglas jumper for Nadezhda, but Augustus went to the other end and drilled a jump shot.
A Becky Hammon steal followed shortly after, leading to a Candice Dupree lay-up and a 68-62 advantage for Pokey Chatman's club.
Hammon then rebounded her own miss and put the ball up and in as Sparta&K pushed further ahead.
The lead ballooned to 12 after baskets by Dupree and Augustus.
Douglas connected from behind the arc to bring the deficit for Nadezhda back to nine, but Sparta&K had the wind in their sails and were not to be denied.
Evgenia Belyakova nailed a three-pointer and Augustus followed with a three-point play to make it 80-65 with just under four minutes remaining.
Sparta&K's fourth-quarter run sucked the life out of Nadezhda, who saw their hopes of travelling to Istanbul disappear with a 2-1 defeat in the Round 2 series.
Rebekkah Brunson, who like Dupree and Augustus are finalists for the USA Olympic squad, had 18 points and 11 rebounds.
EuroBasket Women MVP Elena Danilochkina of Russia made two of her three attempts from long range and finished with 10 points in defeat.
Hammon and Dupree were the only other Sparta&K players to hit double digits in points with 16 apiece.