EUROLEAGUE WOMEN PLAY-OFFS
Galatasaray odeabank sealed a 70-61 win in the first game of their EuroLeague Women play-off series against Perfumerias Avenida to get onto the front foot in their pursuit of a return to the Final Eight.
|Isil Alben and Galatasaray odeabank take the important first game in the series against Avenida|
The Istanbul heavyweights enjoyed a rapid-fire start and looked set to blow the visitors away, but Avenida showed real determination to revive their fortunes and made life difficult.
With an unconvincing record on the road, a 15-2 start by the home side looked to be condemning Avenida to another defeat on their travels and whilst that is how it eventually panned out, it wasn't plain sailing for Galatasaray.
Avenida overcame their nightmare opening and slowly but surely, established a foothold in the game via Eshaya Murphy, with the swingman scoring 23 points against her former team.
Such was the extent of the revival from the Spanish club, that they left the home supporters stunned when they firstly recovered and then even took a shock 47-46, through Murphy, who completed a 9-0 burst in the third quarter.
It jolted Galatasaray back into life and they registered what proved to be a game-winning 17-4 run either side of the third and fourth quarter break.
This knocked the stuffing out of Avenida and whilst they trimmed the deficit to six points with three minutes remaining after a triple by Marta Xargay, Galatasary held firm down the stretch.
Forward Sancho Lyttle had 13 points, nine rebounds and a superb seven steala against her ex-employers.