Three buzzer beaters was almost all there was between Rivas Ecopolis and Wisla Can-Pack. Wisla finished the second, third and fourth quarter with a close range buzzer beaters which is not how one would like to go in a break. Though the buzzer beaters didn’t kill Rivas Ecopolis. Rivas Ecopolis in the third quarter killed Rivas Ecopolis. Stupid mistakes, stupid missed lay-ins and stupid fouls on the other end allowed Krakow to open a 16 points.
More than three scoreless minutes by the hosts allowed Rivas to cut the lead in half, but get the margin down to one possession they could not. Alana Beard was explosive in the first half, leading her team with 12 points. With Beard starting the second half on the bench, Tina Charles picked things up for Wisla Can-Pack. That was aided by Aneika Henry picking up her fourth foul in the third quarter. Overall both teams peaked in the first half of the season, it will be tough for both of them to advance to the Final Eight.
Tarsus scored 71 points again in their second consecutive win, sweeping the season series against IMOS Brno. This time though, Brno managed to provide some resistance. Last time around when these teams met Tarsus had even a 33 point lead against Brno as they wound up winning by 20.
Farhiya Abdi and Nicole Ohlde were each one shot away from their career highs, which for Abdi is 26 and Ohlde – 24. That was the reason why Brno were competitive in this one. As has been the case in most if not all Brno ELW away games, Hana Horakova did not travel with the team.
Danielle Robinson apparently was her speedy self with 25 points. Five of her nine field goals were scored in the paint. Both Robinson and Michelle Campbell played all 40 minutes of the game. It was nothing to write home about for DeLisha Milton-Jones who finished 8 of 22 from the field, for a total of 17 points, and 5 turnovers.
Many turnovers and points left on the FT line meant that Bourges allowed the undermanned Uni Gyor team to hang around throughout the game. After a slow start Bourges led 97% time of the final three quarters, though their lead was marginal, never exceeding three possessions.
Despite Gyor playing 16 year old Agnes Dobos as the starting center, Bourges were unable to inflict any damage to the home side inside. Both teams finished even at 28 points in the paint which should be considered a huge success for Gyor. It was a great game for backup guard Krisztina Raksanyi who scored a career high 18 points, while on the other side Ori was 1 of 5, Hurst – 4 of 12 and Simon 7 of 20 from the field.
Emmeline Ndongue and Endene Miyem were good for Bourges on offense inside, combining for 11 of 14 shooting. Their inside defense was suspect with the aforementioned allowed 28 points in the point for Gyor. While Styliani Kaltsidou struggled scoring (1/8) the rest of the Bourges team struggled holding on to the ball – 5 players had 3 or more turnovers. Despite her reputation for being one of the top European point guards, this was only second game in her ELW career in which Celine Dumerc has reached the 10+ assist plateau. The other team she did it was in 2005/06 season against Schio when she had 11 assists.
Wisla Can-Pack – Rivas Ecopolis 74-66
Wisla: Charles 22 (14 reb), Beard 16, Ouvina 10, De Mondt 9
Rivas: Kurasova 15, Cruz 14, Morrison 10, Casas 9
Tarsus – BK IMOS Brno 81-72
Tarsus: Robinson 25, Milton-Jones 17, Doron 14, Campbell 13 (10 reb)
Brno: Abdi 25, Ohlde 22, Hanusova 6, Kasparkova 6
Uni Gyor – Bourges Basket 59-65
Gyor: Raksanyi 18, Simon 15, Hurst 11, Rasheed 9
Bourges: Miyem 17, Dumerc 13 (10 as), Ndongue 11
Standings: Sparta&K 9-2, Bourges 8-3, Rivas 6-5, Wisla 6-5, Gyor 5-7, Brno 3-8, Tarsus 3-8
UE Sopron failed to clinch their spot in the playoffs on Wednesday as they were overpowered by the superior Orenburg’s depth. In an up and down game, Nadezhda were the ones who made the final run.
As per usual Jelena Milovanovic and Shenise Johnson scored a bunch of points for Sopron to give them fighting chance, but no one else on the team stepped up to support their two stars. Most of blame, of course, were Fegyverneky, Holt and Krnjic who combined for 6 of 28 shooting.
Hard to judge whether it was due to Bonner re-joining the team very late or whether it’s the new look for Orenburg with Paulauskas at the helm, but there was no “hero ball” that either won or lost them games earlier in the season. In the crunch focal points on offense for Orenburg were Elena Danilochkina and Natalia Zhedik, not DeWanna Bonner and Renee Montgomery. 6 Nadezhda players scored 8 or more points. In their first meeting only four did. While not over-relying on a few to do most of the scoring anymore, Orenburg still has issues at the point guard position. Everyone who could be considered a point guard (Montgomery, Miller, Danilochkina) combined for 12 turnovers. On the season Orenburg has fifth most TO’s in the league. The four teams above them right now aren’t in playoff positions, only Targoviste could claim one in the final week.
The first time Fenerbahce and Good Angels Kosice met this season, it was a shootout with the home side just narrowly prevailing. This time it was a defensive battle in which Kosice emerged victorious. Having led for vast majority of the game, Kosice’s win wasn’t a fluke.
What stood out for the hosts was their post defense. Ivana Matovic and Anastasiya Verameyenka were almost non-factors in this game, as they combined for only one made lay-up. Fenerbahce players attempting to drive to the hoop didn’t have much better success either (check out this shot chart). What the numbers don’t show is how well Kosice were denying passes inside. If they keep this up on defense and receive better offensive outputs by Quigley and Pierson, they can defeat anyone at anytime.
Cappie Pondexter continues her recent struggles (3/11 FG). When McCoughtry has a similar type of misfortunes (5/18 FG) one has to question what’s going on with two of the world’s best one-on-one players. Heck, even a player like Shavonte Zellous right now is playing better than those two.
Pressure was too big for Targoviste, playing in a must-win situation against resurgent Arras. Targoviste turned the ball over in this game staggering 32 times. Only five teams in EuroLeague have committed more turnovers than Targoviste did. It’s symbolic that Targoviste turned the ball over before Johanne Gomis sunk a dagger game winner for Arras. Had it not been for Gomis, the story of the game would have been Arras blowing a 16 point lead and allowing Targoviste to go on a 18-0 run.
After a couple of good games, 21 year old Olesia Malashenko was quite terrible for Arras with 2 of 10 shooting and 5 turnovers. With her a non-factor it was Dawn Evans, Gomis and the debuting Pauline Akonga that set the tone for Arras. Both Akonga and Evans were 6 of 13 from the field while Gomis finished 5 of 11.
Gabriela Marginean – 8 turnovers, Ivanka Matic, Jillian Robbins, Matee Ajavon, Ancuta Stoenescu each with 4 turnovers was the story for Targoviste. Only Matic finished with more made field goals than committed turnovers. Targoviste are facing a must win game against Good Angels Kosice. By the looks of the current playoff seeding table it seems like Kosice will certainly be going for the win in order to face Sopron or Gyor in the playoffs (more on possible scenarios in a couple of days).
UE Sopron – Nadezhda Orenburg 68-74
Sopron: Milovanovic 25, Johnson 21, Zsovar 7
Orenburg: Tamane 16, Montgomery 13, Zhedik 11, Danilochkina 9
Good Angels Kosice – Fenerbahce 66-63
Kosice: Krivacevic 12, Kulichova 10, Pierson 10, Bojovic 9
Fenerbahce: Tuncluer 12, McCoughtry 12, Bibrzycka 9, Verameyenka 9
Arras – CSM Targoviste 67-66
Arras: Evans 17, Gomis 16, Akonga 12, Carmona 9
Targoviste: Marginean 17, Matic 14, Miljkovic 12, Robbins 9, Ajavon 9
Standings: Good Angels Kosice 9-2, Fenerbahce 8-3, Schio 7-4, Orenburg 7-4, Sopron 3-9, Targoviste 3-8, Arras 2-9
ZVVZ USK Prague had a ten point lead early in the third quarter. By the end of the quarter they were trailing Polkowice. The final ten minutes weren’t better as Polkowice avenged their loss to Prague earlier this season.
I could write stuff here and pretend to be smart, but there’s nothing I could add to what Natalia Hejkova said to her team during timeouts as her team team saw the lead slip away and deficit build. Let’s give the mic to Hejkova [as CT4 did during the timeouts]:
“We can’t play this like an university game where everyone’s a professor, not a player. You have to start to fight … don’t give up in any situations. In offense [we are not moving], everyone is standing around watching something and everything is visible [to the opponents]. … You use up all the time and in six seconds want to make a miracle.”
Polkowice were playing without Valeriya Musina who was watching the game from the stands. Last week she got hurt after a collision with Laia Palau. In her absence 20 year old Dorota Mistygacz played 25 minutes. While the scoresheet might say otherwise she actually had a fairly good showing considering where’s she’s at in her career. Certainly not worse than some of the outings by Musina this season. Belinda Snell clinched the win for Polkowice with 13 fourth quarter points.
It certainly seemed like USO Mondeville were heading to the playoffs after they defeated Novi Zagreb and Avenida were taking on undefeated UMMC. Wasn’t the case as we now know it and now they face another must win game in Prague next week. Despite having parted ways with their leader Mandir, Zagreb fared very well for most of the game against Mondeville, similarly to their first encounter in Zagreb where the home side won their only game this season.
Mondeville were soundly beaten on the boards and they were allowing opponents to score with a higher efficiency. The only thing that saved them was ball control and lack thereof by Zagreb. The turnover differential was 15. Main “heroes” for Zagreb in that regard were Matea Vrdoljak and Antonija Juric, each with 6 turnovers. Ingrid Tanqueray and KB Sharp combined for 16 final quarter points as Mondeville came back from being down 5.
The game in Salamanca was quite awful from the quality of play standpoint. It made up with the suspense, but it wasn’t quite enough for all the missed layups and open shots. This was a thoroughly deserved loss for UMMC which gives Perfumerias Avenida ability to determine their own fate next week. A win and they’re in, a loss and they’re out.
Six UMMC players went 0 for x in this game and then there was Sue Bird who was 2 of 12. Gruda, Stepanova and Taurasi had 47 of the team’s 57 points. And despite all that they were still in this game for most part. Last time UMMC shot 30% or lower was two years ago in Final Four loss to Sparta&K in which they managed to score just 43 points on 29% shooting, so odds are that we have years before the next dreadful performance by the millionaires.
Marta Xargay stood out for Perfumerias Avenida with 14 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists, while everyone else wasn’t that much better than their UMMC counterparts. To defeat Zagreb the likes of Monique Currie and Le’coe Willingham will have to play much better than they did on Wednesday.
ZVVZ USK Prague – CCC Polkowice 60-71
USK: Vaughn 17, Brunson 15, Burgrova 10
CCC: Snell 28, Ogwumike 24 (14 reb), Leciejewska 8
USO Mondeville – Novi Zagreb 79-74
Mondeville: Tanqueray 17, Kamba 14, Sharp 11, Paugaite 10
Zagreb: Williams 19 (11 reb), Mitchell 16, Vrdoljak 14, Juric 10, Mazic 9
Perfumerias Avenida – UMMC Ekaterinburg 65-57
Avenida: Xargay 14, Currie 12, Willingham 11 (10 reb), Fernandez 9, Sulciute 9
UMMC: Taurasi 20, Stepanova 14, Gruda 13
Standings: UMMC 10-1, Galatasaray 9-2, CCC Polkowice 6-6, USO Mondeville 5-6, ZVVZ USK Prague 4-7, Perfumerias Avenida 4-7, Novi Zagreb 1-10