It took us a while to crack ZTE's defense and get into rhythm but in the end we came away with a confident victory from Zalaegerszeg.
ZTE NKK - Sopron Basket 64-87 (20-25, 12-11, 16-27, 16-24)
ZTE NKK: Nagy D. 6, Kovács G. 2, Burkholder 8, Hayes 26, Horti 9/3 Sub.: Boonstra 9, Delic 4, Kuttor -, Dömötör D. -
Sopron Basket: Fegyverneky 6, Czukor 3/3, Crvendakic 21/15, Jovanovic 12, Határ 16 Sub.: Dubei 13/9, Weninger 10/3, Varga A. 6
2-PTS: 23/40 58% ill. 24/39 62%
3-PTS: 1/16 6% ill. 10/18 56%
FTS: 15/16 94% ill. 9/10 90%
Rebounds: 24 (Hayes 6) ill. 31 (Határ, Jovanovic 6-6)
Assists: 9 (Delic 4) ill. 26 (Fegyverneky 11)
Steals: 7 (Hayes 3) ill. 5
Turnovers: 11 ill. 11
Faults: 19 ill. 19
VAL: 59 (Hayes 30) ill. 114 (Crvendakic 30)
Hayes got the game going with a double for ZTE, to which Betti answered back likewise. After that Hayes and Aleks exchanged buckets, which gave us the lead for the first time in the game (3rd minute 4-5). Aleks hit another three to pull further away from the hosts, and then she also put two more on the scoreboard off an assist by Zsófi, who then made a double to force ZTE's first time-ut in the game (6th minute 4-12). Horti drained a triple for the hosts after the short pause, to which Aleks answered back right away with one of her own. In the next couple of minutes ZTE found a way to crack our defense and came closer to us (7th minute 14-17). In the remaining time neither side was able to take control but we were still in the lead based on our initial performance in the quarter (10th minute 20-25).
Alíz opened the second period with a mid-range double off an assist by Zsófi, while at the other end Burkholder and Boonstra managed to score, forcing our first time-out in the game (12th minute 24-27). However, it proved ineffective, because the home side managed to find a way to score again, reducing the gap between the teams to a single point (26-27). In the next couple of minutes the teams were neck and neck, neither side was able to build a comfortable advantage but we were still on the front foot (18th minute 32-33). Fortunately, Aleks showed her class again before half time so we closed the first twenty minutes being ahead by two buckets' worth (20th minute 32-36).
Andela began the second half with a double, to which Debi answered back with a shot from downtown right away. We took control early in the quarter and doubled our advantage with some well-placed shots, and after a while the home side's coach thought that their team needed a time-out to talk things over, because they seemed to be unable to stop our scoring run (24th minute 40-48). After the break the teams were head-to-head, whatever one side did, the ther had an answer to it. However, following a successful defensive stop Aleks hit yet another triple to increase our lead into the double-digit region for the first time in the game (45-56)! After that Tina converted two foul shots into points, and then Dalma also added three more from behind the arc to make our advantage even more comfortable before the end of the period (30th minute 48-63).
We began the final stage of the game very efficiently in scoring, and two minutes into the period we were already flirting with the twenty-point difference, but couldn't reach it, until Debi finally made it happen with a long shot (33rd minute 54-74). That meant that we were able to crack their defense and scored at will, while still being able to keep them from scoring (35th minute 56-79). In the last minutes ZTE were able to come slightly closer to us, but our victory was never in question anymore, because we regained control in the closing interval (40th minute 64-87).
Dávid Gáspár: It felt good to come in the hall! I grew up here, lots of memories tie me to this place, it was nice to be home and to see the ZTE and us are both supported by many. I would like to thank the Sopron fans for coming to the game! We needed their help. Congratulations to my players, they executed what we have planned very nicely and with great discipline! It was especially great to see our young players contribute to the game positively. I wish ZTE the best of luck!
Debóra Dubei: Both teams fought for 40 minutes. There were mistakes in the first half in our defense, which is why the score was close. We won the third quarter by such a big margin that they game was decided by then. I am proud of each and every member of the team!