|Laura Nicholls took over the game for Rivas Ecopolis, registering 23 points in the win over Nadezhda |
Laura Nicholls took centre stage for Rivas Ecopolis as she registered the highest EuroLeague Women score of her career to fuel a 90-71 Group B win against struggling Nadezhda Orenburg.
The Spanish national team player poured in 23 points as Rivas picked up a second success to pile more misery onto their Russian opponents, who lost at home during week one of the competition and were trashed domestically last weekend.
Dewanna Bonner did her best to spoil the party against her ex-employers whom she once led to historic Copa de la Reina glory, but her 18 points and 14 rebounds in addition to 20 points from Temeka Johnson weren't sufficient.
There was also an unhappy return for Anna Cruz who left Rivas in the summer to head for Russia having been the main player in the run by Rivas to the EuroLeague Women Final in 2012.
Nadezhda were second best for the most part and especially during the early exchanges, although they did briefly lead 54-53.
However they inexplicably imploded defensively during the final quarter, going into complete meltdown as Rivas outscored them 29-15 to run away with the win.
The result heaps more pressure onto experienced Lithuanian head coach Algirdas Paulauskas, whilst Rivas revelled in an excellent team display with four other players in addition to Nicholls making it into double-figures.