USVO win at last otherwise no improvement for French clubs in EuroLeague

Kathy Wambe Anne Wauter Maria Stepanova

In this year's Fiba Europe EuroLeague Women Kathy Wambe with her club Villeneuve d'Ascq are finding the going tough. (Picture courtesy of Fiba Europe: Kathy Wambe sneaking between Ann Wauters and Maria Stepanova)

Villeneuve d’Ascq 48-99 CSKA Moscow

Before the fans could settle into their seats, Ann Wauters from CSKA managed to lose the ball to Géraldine Robert who in turn fed the ball to Fatimatou Sacko whose jump shot fell short. Olaga Artensina picked up the defensive rebound and in the twinkle of an eye the ball was in the hand of her team-mate Edwige Lawson-Wade who finished with a trey. After the lightning start the pace slowed down and Robert put her side’s first points on the board (2-3). Unfortunately for Villeneuve these 60 seconds were just the calm before the storm in this EuroLeague tie as CSKA went all out in attack to finish the first quarter ahead (24-5).

A better performance by the hosts in the second period finally stopped the avalanche as they matched CSKA for a few minutes (33-15). Nicole Powell and Amaya Valdemoro for CSKA had other ideas and went on the offensive taking their side into the interval (45-17).

With the game over as a contest at the beginning of the third period it was just a question of how many points CSKA would have by the end of the match. Leading (75-32) going into the final quarter they continued to attack and just missed the century mark (99-48).

All 12 playes on the Russian roster scored with Valdemoro and Maria Stepanova finishing with 16 points apiece. Jasmina Ilic top scored for Villeneuve with 10 points.

Halcon Avenida 69-65 Bourges

The misery for French clubs continues in the EuroLeague with Bourges going down in Spain to Halcon Avenida (69-65). Anna Montañana top scored with 16 points for the hosts but lost out in the scoring stakes to Belinda Snell of Bourges who finished with 19 points.

In a match that neither side was able to really dominate early on, Bourges won the first period (23-22). Then Avenida edged ahead (38-35) at the interval and shortly after resumption of the third quarter opened the first significant gap of the match (42-37). Avenida held on to their lead (50-45) and appeared in control until the 27th minute. Bourges, thanks mainly to Snell, went on a 9-0 run to finish the third period in front (54-50).

The 2-minute break was enough to put Bourges out of their stride and Avenida quickly reduced their deficit to a single point. The two teams continued to match each other until the 37th minute. With the game tied (61-61) Montañana and then Silvia Dominguez (11 points) hit key shots and Avenida had the advantage (67-62). The game was still alive when with 10 seconds left Sonja Petrovic hit a jumper to bring Bourges to within 2 points. Bourges ran out of time as the remaining points came from the free-throw line.

Anke De Mondt and Tracy Reid were the other players in double digits for Avenida with 13 and 11 points respectively. For Bourges Sonja Kireta picked up another EuroLeague double-double with 12 points and 10 rebounds while Nora Bujdoso finished with 12 points.

The second evening of third round action in the FIBA Europe EuroLeague Women resulted in one victory and one defeat for Ligue Féminine de BasketBall (LFB) club sides.

Lotus PKO BP Gdynia 73-79 Valenciennes

Francesca Zara and Emilie Gomis got USVO off to a flying start with a trey apiece as they opened their third EuroLeague match (8-0). With only Slobodanka Maksimovic from Gdynia offering any resistance USVO opened a 10-point lead (17-7) within the first five minutes of the game. USVO continued to play a fluid game and gave the impression that they would blow their hosts away as they increased their advantage (22-9) with barely seven minutes on the game clock. USVO then lost their rhythm and started to miss shots and turn the ball over which allowed the hosts to regain their composure and score 7 unanswered points. As a result the score line looked more respectable (22-16). By the end of the first period USVO’s advantage was much reduced (24-20).

A couple of treys by Laurie Koehn kept USVO in front early in the second quarter (30-26) but the Polish club was beginning to take control with Chamique Holdsclaw leading the way. With Katsiaryna Snytsina working away unselfishly Gdynia came right back and eventually levelled the match (34-34) through Dominique Canty. The game was tied once more at (36-36) before the hosts stepped on the accelerator and went into the interval ahead (44-39). Canty and Holdsclaw had already scored 14 and 10 points respectively for the hosts.

After the break USVO quickly made up their deficit and drew level (44-44). The two teams then traded basket for basket and remained on equal terms (52-52) going into the last minute of the third quarter. Nicole Ohlde, a tower of strength on the boards, put USVO in front and Sabrina Reghaissia’s first points of the match gave them a 4-point cushion (56-52).

Snytsina was in no mood to allow USVO to have it all their way and eventually regained the lead for her team (60-58). Holdsclaw, not scoring anymore, made a cool pass to Maksimovic, who in turn scored leaving the home fans with the expectation of victory. Zara read the situation well and produced something special from her bag of tricks and landed a trey that put a stop to the hosts’ apparent dominance. Gdynia still held on (64-63) with five minutes remaining but found it difficult to maintain their advantage and the game was tied for the last time (69-69) at money-time. The hosts, hampered by team fouls’ problems, sent USVO to the free-throw line on six occasions who secured their win by scoring 10-of-12.

This is USVO’s first EuroLeague victory this season and with five players in double digits, Gomis (17 points & 6 assists), Zara (15 points & 4 assists), Ohlde (14 points & 18 rebounds), Krissy Bade (12 points & 4 assists) and Reka Czerny (11 points), Hervé Coudray must be more than satisfied with the night's work. For the hosts Canty led the scoring with 20 points and was joined in double figures by Snytsina, Maksimovic and Holdsclaw with 16, 15 and 12 points each.

MiZo Pécs 2010 68-60 Mondeville

Mondeville unsettled the hosts immediately with a 5-0 burst and finished the first period ahead (19-16) thanks to a 3-point-buzzer-beater by Pauline Jannault.

Throughout the game Mondeville had problems containing Emilija Podrug (23 points) and even when they succeeded Andrea Somogyi (14 points) was on hand as the Hungarian hosts went to open the second quarter with an 11-2 run (27-21) and closed the first half leading (37-31).

Mondeville spent the rest of the game playing catch-up and as much as they tried they were not able to sustain the pressure long enough to profit and hence went into the final period trailing (51-41). The hosts then paced themselves to their second victory in the EuroLeague. Mondeville are yet to win a game.

Lenae Williams finished with 17 points while Poaline Salagnac had 12 points. Caroline Aubert had a good all-round game with 10 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists.

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