Nika Syktyvkar withstood the comeback attempt by TTT Riga and prevailed over the two time champion 72-64 to qualify for the 2021 EWBL final.
Players of the game
Maria Cherepanova led the winners with 20 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field.
Russian international scored eight points in the first quarter and moved on to finish the game with 13 rebounds and three assists.
Brianna Turner added another impressive double-double. The 2018 NCAA champion had 18 points and 15 rebounds.
Notre Dame standout dished out a game high six assists and blocked two shots for a efficiency rating of 31.
Alexandra Marchenkova also posted impressive stat line, including 17 points on 7-of-13 shooting from the field.
Russian international grabbed eight rebounds. Marchenkova had four assists, two steals and one blocked shot too.
Kiara Leslie scored 11 points. The 2019 WNBA champion stole the ball three times, grabbed six rebounds and had the best +/- ratio 16.
Ieva Pulvere scored almost half of TTT points during the first quarters. She had a team high 20 points on 8-of-16 shooting from the field.
Jessica Thomas scored 8 of her 14 points in the fourth quarter, while playing with four fouls.
Miami standout finished the game with 14 points and five assists.
Ilze Jākobsone chipped in with 14 points, including a seven point barrage during the clutch time.
Karlīne Pilābere posted two points, 10 rebounds, one steal and one blocked shot.
Nika went on a 16-4 run early in the game and never looked back.
Syktyvkar team outscored TTT in the paint 40-30 due to the fact that Riga frontcourt shrank to two players.
Nika managed another 7-0 run early in the fourth quarter to extend its lead up to 17 points 61-44.
Thomas and Jākobsone led the comeback attempt. They combined for a 15 points in order to cut the gap to eight points, 68-60 and 72-64.
Riga trio – Pulvere, Thomas and Jākobsone – scored 48 points or 75% of team`s scoring production.
Four Nika players scored in double figures. Syktyvkar starters outscored Riga 69-46.
Nika will play its first final on Sunday.
Saturday, April 3, semifinals
Prometey Kamianske – Horizont Minsk 73-84
TTT Rīga – Nika Syktyvkar 64-72
Sunday, April 4, medal games
11:00 Bronze medal game
15:30 Award ceremony
Final Four history
Rīga 2016: TTT Rīga, Basket 90 Gdynia, Astana Tigers, Tsmoki Minsk
Košice 2017: Good Angels Košice, TTT Rīga, Dynamo Moscow, Basket 90 Gdynia
Rīga 2018: Good Angels Košice, TTT Rīga, Dynamo Moscow, Udominate Basket
Rostov on Don 2019: TTT Rīga, Tsmoki Minsk, Rostov Don SFEDU, Žabiny Brno
Brno 2020: season five cancelled due to pandemic (Žabiny Brno-Tsmoki, Novosibirsk-Pieštany)
Playoffs: March 2-16, 2021; best-of-two
A1 – B4, A2 – B3, B2 – A3, B1 – A4
Final Four: April 3-4, 2021
EWBL member countries so far: Belarus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lebanon, Lithuania, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, Slovakia, Sweden, Ukraine, Turkey.
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