ISTANBUL (EuroLeague Women) - There was plenty of pre-game hype for Wednesday's battle of unbeatens in Istanbul between Galatasaray and UMMC Ekaterinburg.
The contest lived up to its billing.
UMMC Ekaterinburg scraped a 74-73 win with USA international Lindsay Whalen's potential game-winning shot from half-court at the buzzer hitting the backboard and staying out.
Galatasaray’s Whalen, who has been among the most famous players in the sport since helping the Americans capture gold at the 2010 FIBA World Championship for Women, had a game-high 22 points with six assists and eight rebounds.
The output wasn't enough to overcome UMMC, who prevailed for the sixth time in as many games.
Whalen's USA teammates and fellow gold-medal winners at the London Games, Candace Parker and Diana Taurasi, poured in 16 points apiece.
Sandrine Gruda, who will be among the leading players at next year's EuroBasket Women for hosts France, also had 16 for UMMC.
Deanna Nolan scored 20 to lead the winners' attack.
Despite the glittering array of international stars on show in Istanbul, there were many empty seats.
The announced attendance was 300.
The USA internationals continue to put up the most impressive statistical performances in the EuroLeague Women.
No player has been better than Tina Charles, the WNBA’s MVP with the Connecticut Sun who is now playing in Poland with Wisla Can-Pack Krakow.
The Americans' world and Olympic champion had 27 points and 16 rebounds in her side’s triumph over Tarsus.
Three times already this season, Charles has been the MVP of the Week in the EuroLeague and she is contending for the honor again.
Charles is leading the league in scoring (29 ppg) and rebounding (13.5).
Where the crowds are always big, no matter the name of the opponents, is Salamanca, Spain.
That's where hosts Perfumerias Avenida defeated Novi Zagreb, 87-77, on Wednesday.
There were 3,100 spectators packing in the arena for that game.
Meanwhile, a team with the potential of being a leading side in Europe this season, ZVVZ USK Prague, slumped to its fourth loss in six games.
USO Mondeville Basket won 70-61, prompting Prague coach Natalia Hejkova to call it "the worst game I had as coach."