|Anna Cruz hurt her former team on Wednesday evening, scoring 14 points alongside seven boards|
Nadezhda Orenburg cruised to a 78-50 win over Rivas Ecopolis at home on Wednesday thanks in great part to the contribution of Anna Cruz, who delivered her best performance this season against her former club.
The Spanish international collected 14 points, seven rebounds and six assists, center Glory Johnson picked up a double-double of 19 points and 11 rebounds, while Dewanna Bonner finished with 14 points and six boards for the winners.
After a relatively tight opening quarter, in which Nadezhda led 19-16, the Russian side started establishing their dominance inside and extended their advantage to 43-29 by the half-time buzzer.
Rivas showed signs of recovery after the break and even reduced the gap to 10 points, 49-39, shortly before the end of the third quarter.
But the Spanish team had no chance of sustaining their assault against an opponent that kept winning almost every battle at the rim on Wednesday.
Nadezhda out-rebounded Rivas 43-32, scored 36 of their points in the paint and even had the luxury of making up for missed shots by getting 17 second-chance points.
The hosts pulled away decisively in the final frame as their visitors were running out of gas and outscored Rivas 25-8 to transform the encounter into a local triumph over a direct competitor for a top-four finish in Group B.
Thanks to the 28-point margin of victory, Nadezhda have covered the 90-71 point differential of the loss they suffered to Rivas in the reverse fixture on the opening night of action in the EuroLeague Women First Round.
Laura Nicholls had 17 points and four rebounds while Gaby Ocete finished with 10 points for Rivas in the losing effort.
Nadezhda Player Tatiana Burik
"We are happy we won. We are getting prepared thoroughly for each game. Our coach constantly invents something new in defence and we are preparing for games against each of our opponents differently and, of course, based on opponents specifics in offence."
Nadezhda Head Coach George Dikeoulakos
"I'm satisfied with the result and the game of my team. Of course, my players got very tired mentally because we had four tough games in a row. Perhaps, this was the reason that we couldn't stick to our plans, we failed to perform everything we planned, sometimes we were losing concentration and this is especially related to fourth quarter."
Rivas Ecopolis Player Laura Nicholls
"We knew Nadezhda's game, we were getting prepared for it, but we didn't expect such pressure. We won the return game and thought we could make it in Orenburg. Unfortunately, we played today like we played. We have to prepare for other games and learn by our mistakes."
Rivas Ecopolis Head Coach Jose Ignacio Hernandez
"This was a very difficult game for us. We give credit to Nadezhda. We have a rather young team and sometimes it is hard for us to compete with experienced teams both in EuroLeague Women and the national championship. However, I believe, we played a rather good game and managed to play against post players. Since our previous game against Nadezhda in Spain, Nadezhda have become better in defence and it made playing against them much harder."