Tuesday, December 16, 2008
L to R: Erlana Larkins, Alison Bales and Marcedes Walker meet up.
In the last minute of a game, there are certain things you can do and things you cannot do. For Samsun (6-2), the thing they had to do was to come from behind and find a way to win on their home court. For Botaş (2-7), the thing you cannot do is to make an egregious mistake that can cost you the game. It seems that the latter was the case as Botaş lost 70-69 on the road.
Botaş certainly got off to a great start - they led 16-14 after one quarter and took a 38-29 lead into halftime. Samsun managed to close the gap to 54-50 at the end of three quarters.
Samsun manged to tie the game at 56-56 early in the fourth quarter but couldn't seal the deal. Botaş led 65-62 with three minutes left. Nihan Anaz of Samsun closed her team to one point, 67-66, with 1:44 minutes left and both teams exchanged baskets. Botaş took a 69-68 lead into the final minute.
What happens next depends on the vagaries of a cheap online Turkish-English translator. The translation implies that Erlana Larkins picked up a couple of free throws on some sort of Botaş technical foul. Whether the foul was technical or not, Larkins sank the buckets that gave Samsun the lead again at 70-69 - a lead they kept until the final buzzer.
Samsun outshot Botaş 42 percent to 34 percent, but the stat is misleading - Botaş took many more shots, taking thirty-one 3-point shots...and only hitting six of them. Botaş actually outrebounded Samsun on the offensive boards, 17 to 12. Samsun, however, got sent to the free throw line more often, sinking the final two free throws that won them the game.
Erlana Larkins had a big double double - 19 points and 16 rebounds - in addition to sinking the winning points. Three other players scored in double figures, along with Julie McBride with 12 points. As for Alison Bales, she scored zero points in 15 minutes. She had six rebounds, but also four turnovers.
Botaş was absolutely driven by its foreign players, with Shannon Bobbitt leading the way with 30 points, 11 rebounds...and eight turnovers. Bobbitt is a guard for the Los Angeles Sparks. Marcedes Walker, a rookie center who played with the now-defunct Comets last year, scored 21 points and 16 rebounds. Angela Tisdale, a Baylor guard drafted by the Chicago Sky but who was waived in May, scored nine points.