Sparta&K Moscow Region
ready to defend EuroLeague Women title

EuroLeague Women final four hosts UMMC Ekaterinburg failed again in the semi-final match against Russian rivals Sparta&K Moscow Region (43-54).

Gundars Vetra    © UMMC Gundars Vetra, (left) the coach from UMMC, continued his tradition of keeping club captain Svetlana Abrosimova on the bench when it comes for the final four.

He explained after the match that his team played well in the first half and controlled the pace. However during the second half Sparta&K changed their defense and mixed up zone with one-to-one marking.

This took them out of their rhythm and they started to make mistakes and failed to execute well offensively which effected their defense.

Pokey Chatman, the coach from Sparta&K Moscow Region, said that they were lucky to win because both teams knew each other well. After being dominated in the first half, the switch to zone defense enabled her players to dominate the court.

For the defending champions 40-year old Taj Mc Williams compiled a double-double of 11 points and 10 rebounds while Epiphanny Prince led the scoring with 13 points.

Sparta&K Moscow Region will meet Halcon Avenida in the final.

EuroLeague Women match report

Epiphanny Prince / Epifaniya Prints and Cappie Pondexter   © FIBA Europe Céline Dumerc's only points of the game came within the first 30 seconds to give UMMC an early lead.

However the next four minutes were rather scrappy with neither side able to get going offensively with just back to back scores from Taj Mc Williams for the defending champions (4-2).

The last five minutes of the first quarter were more exciting with the lead changing hands on each basket.

The defending champions came out on top with an Epiphanny Prince (Epifaniya Prints) (above) scoring the last basket (15-14).

UMMC scored 7 unanswered points during the first three minutes of the second quarter to open the first lead of any significance (22-15).

However the quality of finishing did not improve with both sides missing the unmissable.

Despite Sparta&K Moscow Region turning the ball over more often than their opponents they went into the interval trailing by just 5 points (22-27).

UMMC stretched their advantage to 9 points (31-22) with two minutes played in the third quarter.

Sparta&K Moscow Region stepped up defensively and dominated the last eight minutes of the quarter while putting together a 13-0 run to edge back in front (35-31).

With Candace Parker going 1-of-2 from the free-throw line the hosts ended the negative series.

Yet the defending champions scored on the buzzer through Prince who picked up a lose ball from a three-point attempt by her team-mate Jelena Milovanovic (37-32).

UMMC fought back in the final quarter and trailed by just 3 points (39-41) with just over 6 1/2 minutes to play.

This was a close as they would get as they went on a missing festival while their guests scored 7 unanswered points including back to back scores from Mc Williams to take charge of the game for good.

The defending champions paced themselves for the remaining minutes to win the match (54-43).

Sparta&K Moscow Region: Epifaniya Prints 13, Sonja Petrovic 0, Natalia Vieru DNP, Ilona Korstin 4, Jelena Milovanovic 12, Sue Bird 4 (3 assists), Ekaterina Ruzanova DNP, Irina Osipova 4, Nadezda Grishaeva 0, Taj Mc Williams 11 (10 rebounds), Irina Sokolovskaya 0, Noel Kuin 6 (3 assists)

UMMC Ekaterinburg: Olga Arteshina 3, Anna Ostroukhova DNP, Sandrine Gruda 4, Céline Dumerc 2 (3 assists), Tatiana Vidmer DNP, Maria Stepanova 9, Zuzana Zirková 2, Candace Parker 11, Deanna Nolan 4, Cappie Pondexter 8, Svetlana Abrosimova DNP

You can watch some game highlights and listen to after-match comments on FIBA TV

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EuroLeague Women picture credits:
FIBA Europe

Date created: 09 April 2011

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