After a close first quarter Galatasaray built up a lead that proved too big to overcome despite a big run in crunch-time.
Galatasaray - Sopron Basket 67-61 (15-13, 27-21, 14-6, 11-21)
Galatasaray: Bilgic -, Gulcan 8/3, R. Williams 15/9, Steinberga 27/9, Krajisnik 15/3 Sub.: Aydin 2, Davis -, Turan -, Yilmaz -
Sopron Basket: January 10/3, Fegyverneky 2, G. Williams 16/9, Brooks 2, Határ 19 Sub.: Peddy 4, Jovanovic 3/3, Varga A. 3/3, Gaye 2
FGS: 23/62 37% ill. 22/58 38%
3-PTS: 8/28 29% ill. 6/23 26%
FTS: 13/21 62% ill. 11/16 69%
Rebounds: 40 (Steinberga 9) ill. 39 (Határ 14)
Assists: 20 (R. Williams 7) ill. 12 (January 4)
Steals: 8 (Krajisnik 4) ill. 4 (Határ 2)
Turnovers: 11 ill. 15
Faults: 16 ill. 18
EFF: 78 (Steinberga 31) ill. 64 (Határ 33)
Betti got the game going with an easy lay-up, to which she then added another one. After that Zsófi also made one of her signature mid-range jumpers, before Tina Krajisnik managed to score next to Betti inside the paint (3rd minute 2-6). Riquna Williams split a pair of shots at the foul line, and then Krajisnik hit from outside to tie the game up. However, they couldn’t take over the lead, because Betti hit from mid-range, but then Bilgic drained a double to tie it again (5th minute 8-8). Williams drained a triple to give the lead to Galatasaray, while at the other end Jeca was also successful from inside. Then came an exchange of buckets between Steinberga and Gabby, which resulted in a tie game again. After that the Latvian center made another double, setting the score for the first period (10th minute 15-13).
Anete Steinberga opened the second quarter with a three-point play, to which Briann answered back with three made free throws after drawing a foul on Krajisnik. However, with the points by Riquna Williams, Steinberga and Krajisnik the Turkish unleashed a demoralizing scoring run (13th minute 25-16). After that Shey came up with a double to put an end to it, but then Steinberga hit from the corner making it a ten-point Galatasaray advantage, forcing Dávid Gáspár to call his team to the bench to talk things over (28-18). Betti went in for a lay-up off Bri’s assist after the short pause, but a bit later Steinberga restored the double-digit differential from behind the free throw line. However, when Gabby drained a triple from the corner the Turkish also decided to call a time-out (16th minute 30-23). Gülcan scored two following the brief pause, to which Krajisnik added a lay-up, before Betti grabbed an offensive rebound and put it back in. After that Bri made two free throws, but then Steinberga made a huge three to end our comeback effort, and then she also made two free throws after drawing the third personal foul of the game on Betti. In the last thirty seconds Gülcan and Gabby exchanged triples which meant that we were going into the half-time break with an eight-point deficit (20th minute 42-34).
Riquna Williams began the third period with a steal and an easy lay-up, to which Krajisnik added another one. Over two minutes into the quarter Betti made two free throws to get us going as well, but then Krajisnik answered back at the other end with a double right away. We couldn’t find our rhythm in this period either, and Galatasaray were already on a 12-4 run, which caused Dávid Gáspár to call a time-out (25th minute 54-38). Over two minutes later Gabby managed to score from a really difficult situation, seeing which the Turkish also decided it was time to talk things over (54-40). In the last three minutes of the period Galatasaray managed to put two more in-between, setting the difference at sixteen points heading into the last ten minutes (30th minute 56-40).
Alíz hit a triple to get the final stage of the game going, while at the other end Williams made three foul shots. After that Neca came up with a triple, and then Betti drew a foul on Krajisnik for two free throws, both of which found their way into the net (34th minute 59-48). Krajisnik and Betti exchanged buckets, and then Steinberga managed to score from outside again. Gabby stole the ball for an easy lay-up after that, and when Gabby drew a foul under the rim, Dávid Gáspár called another time-out (38th minute 64-52). Steinberga made a really difficult double after the short break, to which Shey answered back likewise right away, and then she also added an assist to Bri, who converted it into three points, forcing the Turkish to call a time-out with 70 seconds on the game clock (66-57). Betti came up with a three-point play to reduce the gap to six coming back on the court, and then Gabby split a pair of shots at the foul line, and so did Steinberga at the other end setting the final score of the game (40th minute 67-61).
Dávid Gáspár: We didn't come out with the necessary energy and organization on defense. Secondly, we didn't react to it on time, and got confused by Galatasaray's defensive style, which caused us to lose rhythm on offense. We tried to create chances, and there were some periods when we were able to make open shots, but late, when we didn't feel the rhythm of our shots. That is a result of Galatasaray's efforts, for which I have to say congratulations to them! They broke our game's rhythm, and knocked us out of our comfort zone. It is positive, however, that we were able to reduce the gap in the final minutes, which is crucial in such a balanced competition. We'll keep working hard, and fix what we have to make right!
Gabby Williams: It is good that this game took place now in November, so we still have time to learn from it on the path we are going. We know what our mistakes were, and we will work hard in practice to make these right so that we can still reach our goals.