After a tight first half we switched into a higher gear in the second and managed to hold off Fenerbahce in a real nail-biter!
Sopron Basket - Fenerbahce Oznur Kablo 62-60 (11-11, 13-14, 22-12, 16-23)
Sopron, 1200 néző
Sopron Basket: Fegyverneky 14/6, January 16/3, Crvendakic 13, Brooks 9/3, Jovanovic 9 Sub.: Határ 1, Dubei -, Weninger -
Fenerbahce Oznur Kablo: Cruz 4, Iagupova 12/6, Zandalasini 16/9, Stokes 8, Williams 8 Sub.: Cakir 11/3, Canitez 1, Uzun -, Cora -
FGS: 22/59 37% ill. 23/60 38%
3-PTS: 4/11 36% ill. 6/15 40%
FTS: 14/22 64% ill. 8/9 89%
Rebounds: 34 (Crvendakic 8) ill. 43 (Iagupova 11)
Assists: 12 (January 4) ill. 10 (Iagupova 4)
Steals: 9 (January 3) ill. 2
Turnovers: 7 ill. 15
Faults: 16 ill. 22
EFF: 69 (January 17) ill. 64 (Zandalasini 16)
Iagupova got the game going from mid-range, to which Zandalasini added a corner three (0-5). After that Zsófi made our first basket of the game as well, but then Stokes also scored two. A little while later Jeca went in for two, to ehich Zandalasini answered back likewise. Aleks also started contributing to the game, she made three free throws in a row, after getting fouled in the act of shooting. (6th minute 7-9). With a little more than a minute left on the clock we managed to tie the game up and set the score for the first quarter (10th minute 11-11).
The second quarter began with Canitez splitting the pair at the foul line, however, the Turkish got the offensive rebound and Williams scored for two points off it (11-14). Fenerbahce managed to score two more times unanswered forcing Dávid Gáspár to call his first time-out in the game (13th minute 11-18). Tina came up with a double after the break to quickly cut into our deficit, but Cakir answered back right away, and then Iagupova hit one from behind the arc to increase the away side's lead to ten points (16th minute 13-23). That's when Zsófi finally made one of her signature mid-range jumpers to get us back on track, and then after a big play on defense by Tina Briann went in for a reverse lay-up, and then Zsófi hit a huge triple to make the home fans jump off their seats (20-23)! We came as close to Fenerbahce as a single point by the end of the first half (20th minute 24-25).
Aleks got the second half going with a double off an inbound play under the basket, to which Stokes answered back right away, but then Briann hit a big three to get us the lead! Then Zsófi added a double and when Briann also scored Fenerbahce called a time-out to talk things over (23rd minute 33-27). Zandalasini put an end to our scoring run with a mid-range double, but then Briann managed to score again. What's more, with a triple by Jeca we were flirting with the double-digit lead, and in the next possession we reached it with a double by Tina forcing Fenerbahce's next time-out (26th minute 40-29)! Later on Iagupova went in for a lay-up, to which Briann answered back likewise. In the final minutes of the period Fenerbahce managed to cut into their deficit by a single bucket, leaving us with a 9-point advantage before the fourth quarter 30th minute 46-37).
Iagupova hit a three to begin the final stage of the game, to which Aleks answered back with two successful free throws (32nd minute 48-40). Then Zsófi buried a mid-range jumper, while at the other end Cruz scored two. Betti split the pair at the foul line, while Iagupova made both of her attempts afterwards. Reaching the middle of the quarter the Turkish have come back to being down by six points, and that's when Cakir drained a demoralizing three on us, forcing our next time-out (37th minute 53-50). After the time-out Zandalasini made a three to tie the game up, but Jeca was able to reply right away with a double off a spin move under the rim, and then Tina hit another one to force Victor Lapena to call his team to the bench and talk things over again (57-53). Williams made a lay-up, to which Zsófi answered back with a huge triple. With 15 seconds remaining on the game clock Dávid Gáspár called a time-out being three points ahead (60-57). Jeca made two and Zandalasini three free throws – time-out Sopron (62-60). No other points were scored in the game, which meant that we beat Fenerbahce in the Euroleague Game of the Week (40th minute 62-60)!
Dávid Gáspár: I am so happy! Congratulation to the team! They've done an excellent job! We have reached our main goal for the season: Overcoming ourselves by doing the hardest work imaginable. Today we can be happy about this victory, but tomorrow we have to get back to the ground, because the challenge is right ahead of us!
Zsófia Fegyverneky: I am so happy that we were able to win this game! They are a star-studded team with outstanding players in all positions. Holding this team to 60 points says it all about our defense and our team work. We have prepared well and executed everything we had talked about before the game. We were focused all the way through the game on offense. These games show us that we are on the right track!
Victor Lapena: It was a tough game, congratulations to Sopron! They were very focused, especially on defense. I cannot say anything bad about my players, they came back from being 12 points behind. We keep improving day-by-day, and we need games like this to discover our mistakes and analyze them! It never feels good to lose, but it wasn't bad, the improvements are visible!
Cecilia Zandalasini: It was a tough game against a Sopron team with great players on the roster. We had the opportunities to make the outcome different, but we couldn't make use of them. This is Euroleague. We will keep working hard, re-watch our mistakes and learn from them. It is a long series, we have nothing to be afraid of.