Fenerbahce Overpower Nadezhda

09 January 2013


7. Birsel Vardarli (Fenerbahce)
Birsel Vardarli was again deadly from beyond the arc

Having lost the Turkish Cup Final in agonising fashion against arch rivals Galatasaray, it probably wasn't the best time for anybody to face Fenerbahce as Nadezhda bore the brunt of their opponents' frustration in a 93-67 EuroLeague Women Group B defeat.

The hosts headed into the contest without the influential Cappie Pondexter who was so upset by the gut-wrenching, buzzer-beating loss to their foes from across the Bosphorus last weekend that she needed stitches in her hand after punching a glass panel in anger.

But, despite her absence, this frustration was channeled in the right way by her team-mates on the floor, as they crushed Nadezhda in quite brutal fashion via some excellent three-point shooting and transition scores.

Capitalising on their powerful opening, Fenerbahce led 28-14 after a triple by the effervescent Birsel Vardarli and never looked back.

When Nadezhda threatened to rally just before half-time and cut the gap to single figures, it was again Vardarli who dropped a three-ball to keep the momentum with Fener.

They remained firmly on top when they re-emerged for the second half, and despite an excellent 14 points and 17 rebounds from Zane Tamane against her former club, Nadezhda were unable to launch a fightback or stop the rot.

There were a string of fine displays from Fenerbahce players including Vardarli, whilst her backcourt partner Esmeral Tuncluer had 12 points and six assists.

Ivana Matovic continues to excel in the frontcourt with 18 points, nine rebounds and four assists.


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