SIG women Celebrate winning basketball coupe de France - Trophée Coupe de France féminine - at the third attempt

SIG women lift the Trophée Coupe de France féminine The Basketball coupe de France, also known as the Trophée Coupe de France féminine, will reside in Illkirch-Graffenstaden for the next 12 months as the ladies of the SIG overcame their Paris Bercy woes to beat their opponents US Leveyron (62-61).

The SIG has a stable roster. For six members of the squad this was their 3rd visit in three years. It would have been seven players but their captain Audrey Kopp missed last year’s final as she was on maternity leave.

First period belonged to Leveyron

The game was only 12 seconds old when Pulchérie Ayi hit one from beyond the arc to get Leveyron off the mark. The opening couple of minutes were lively as both sides attempted to manoeuvre each other. A trey by Aline Fischbach off the pass by Kopp put the ladies from Strasbourg into the lead for the first time (7-6).

The SIG scored once more before suffering a 12-0 hit during the last three minutes of the first period. Etienne Faye, Leveyron’s head coach took advantage of early foul problems for Caroline Nestor who had to sit out most of the period with two fouls as his side led at the end of the first quarter (18-11).

Caroline Nestor went on the rampage to bring the SIG back into the game

Caroline Nestor

Leveyron quickly stretched their advantage to 10 points (21-11) and had a maximum lead of 12 points. Just when it appeared that Leveyron had the game in control (31-19) the SIG came storming back with baskets from Céline Schmitt-Sender and Maud Shultz before a 7-point blitz by Nestor (left) to bring them to within a single point of their opponents after an 11-0 run (30-31).

Fischbach then gave the SIG the lead briefly before Coralie Rouat brought the two sides level. The teams exchanged a couple of baskets each to go into the interval tied (37-37).

Defence was the order of the day during the third period

Leveyron were kept scoreless for almost seven minutes as they struggled to come to terms with the defence proposed by the head coach of the SIG, Philippe Breitenbucher. Yet the SIG were short of ideas offensively and scored only 8 points during the quarter to go into the final period with a 2-point advance (45-43).

Céline Schmitt-Sender held the rebound that led to victory

Céline Schmitt-Sender at Paris BercyAfter the calm of the previous period, the final act was electrifying even if it was not pretty to watch. Nestor lived up to her reputation from her LFB days as a player that picks up lot of personal fouls as she was to foul out late in the game.

Aurélie Carmona was solid for Leveyron in the closing minutes as she drew foul after foul and hit 8-of-10 from the charity stripes. Both sides played cat and mouse for the duration of the final period

With the game nicely poised (62-60) for the SIG and the clock winding down Marie-Noémie Privet, who was having a good game for the SIG, was drawn into a foul by Carmona, which saw her leaving the game.

With just under five seconds left in the game Carmona had the chance to tie the game from the free-throw line. She hit the first but missed the second. Schmitt (above) managed to get the rebound and was fouled.

The resulting free-throws were missed but Leveyron had less than a second to come up with some magic. They were unable to produce any and at last the SIG won the amateur version of the French Cup.

Schmitt led the scoring with 18 points and 12 rebounds in helping the team, known as Strasbourg IG, to win their first national title.

Basketball Coupe de France - Trophée Coupe de France Féminine Box Score

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Basketball Coupe de France pictures courtesy of the FFBB

Date: 17 May 2008

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