Bourges Basket and USO Mondeville got their 2013 EuroLeague Women campaign off to a good start with victories against Wisla Can-Pack and CCC Polkowice respectively. The third French club Arras however fell on the road to Uniqa EuroLeasing Sopron.
With Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets and the availability on more streamed games, all the results and analyses of the EuroLeague Women games are completed within minutes of the final whistle.
As a consequence womensbasketball-in-france.com's coverage of this competition is not the same as in previous seasons. Our analysis is more focused on the performance of French teams and on key moments of some ELW matches.
It is a pity that after 16 years of ELW participation, it is still not possible to watch EuroLeague Women games from Bourges Basket on the internet unless the cameras of FIBA Europe are in place.
Nwal-Endéné Miyem made her first start of the season for Bourges and was on the score sheet early as Bourges raced off to a 6-0 lead.
Bourges never trailed against Wisla Can-Pack. But with just under five minutes to play their lead was just 2 points.
However with the support of the home fans and an explosive spell by Frida Eldebrink (in picture), Bourges' advantage grew to 11 points (60-49) and the victory out of reach of their opponents. Despite a not very fluent passing game Bourges ended up winning (61-55). Eldebrink finished with 18 points while Emméline Ndongue scored 15.
Yet Wisla Can-Pack should be a different and more dangerous team once Katie Douglas and Tina Charles join team. In the meanwhile Dóra Horti (15 points), Anke De Mondt (13 points) and Cristina Ouvina (10 points) have enough skills to carry the team.
Sparta&K M. R. Vidnoje beat EuroLeague Women newcomers Tarsus Belediyespor (88-81) with 26 points coming from Candice Dupree, while French international Isabelle Yacoubou-Déhoui added 10 points in 21 minutes.
The final game of round 1 between Uni Györ and BK IMOS Brno went to the hosts (72-70) in a dramatic finish. Former Aix-en-Provence player Natalie Hurst dished out 10 assists while scoring 14 points for the winners.
For anybody who has watched college basketball in the last four years, especially the Miami Hurricanes, then Shenise Johnson's three-pointer at the end of the game between Uniqa EuroLeasing Sopron and Arras should have come as no surprise.
Johnson lifted the ball over the head of Ines Ajanovic with about eight seconds to go for the game sealing shot (56-52) and hence ending Arras' chance of a surprise victory.
As expected Arras defended well and frustrated their opponents. But their shooting was terrible except for the last five minutes.
Johanne Gomis-Halilovic (12 points, in picture) who is the captain of Arras explained that her team fought till the end despite having an up and down game.
The other newcomer Municipal Targoviste were three seconds away from a possible victory when Laura Macchi struck with a three-pointer from the wing for Famila Schio to win (76-75).
In an exciting match in which neither side were able to control for any period of time, a number of players who had played in France were on display. French international Elodie Godin scored 6 points and pulled down 7 rebounds for the victors.
For the hosts Municipal Targoviste, Elina Babkin, Chioma Nnamaka, Maja Miljkovic, Ivanka Matic and Gabriela Marginean all had been in France. However it is the performance of Jillian Robin (13 points and 12 rebounds) that might have fans of Villeneuve d'Ascq wondering why she had to be replaced so quickly last season.
In the first game to be played in ELW for this season saw Nadezhda hold off Good Angels Kosice (70-65) with 22 points coming from Dewanna Bonner.
USO Mondeville won in overtime (86-82) on the road against CCC Polkowice.
If certain college recruiters had succeeded a few years ago to get Naignouma Coulibaly (in picture) to play hoops in the US, she might have played against Nnemkadi Ogwumike in College basketball. In the end Coulibaly came to France while Ogwumike went to Stanford.
The two players faced each other in their ELW début and scored 21 points each. Although Ogwumike ended up on the losing side this time she is the player everybody remembers in this match.
While USO Mondeville managed to show in 45 minutes the good, the bad and the ugly side of their game, CCC Polkowice may regret allowing this game to escape them when they had the chance to win.
While Coulibaly hit some big shots for Mondeville it was the shots by Amanda Lassiter that kept them in the game.
For Anaël Lardy the first night of EuroLeague action did not start well, playing just eight minutes and going 0-of-3 from the floor as her team
ZVVZ USK Prague fell at home (56-62) to Perfumerías Avenida.
Roneeka Hodges and Nicole Powell shared the last 14 points for Avenida to lead the 2011 Champions to victory.
In the other game from this group Galatasaray MP had a relaxing evening in beating Novi Zagreb (79-48).
EuroLeague Women round 1 results:
Sparta&K M. R. Vidnoje 88-81 Tarsus
UE Sopron 56-52 Arras
Municipal Targoviste 75-76 Famila Schio
Novi Zagreb 48-79 Galatasaray MP
ZVVZ USK Prague 56-62 Perfumerias Avenida
Nadezhda-Orenburg 70-65 Good Angels Kosice
CCC Polkowice 82-86 USO Mondeville
Bourges Basket 61-55 Wisla Can-Pack
Uni Györ 72-70 BK IMOS Brno
Date created: 25 October 2012
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ELW regular season articles
07 February 2013: Bourges Basket as only French team to go into play-off round
31 January 2013: Group C thriller goes on
23 January 2013: Arras fall with honour at Fenerbahçe
10 January 2013: Bad night for French teams
13 December 2012: Tina Charles dominates while Mondeville taken to the wire
06 December 2012: Half-way stage reached
28 November 2012: Round 6: Close games and excitement
23 November 2012: Two clubs remain unbeaten after five rounds
16 November 2012: Midnight madness in Spain, joy in Targoviste
01 November 2012: Bourges beaten in Moscow while Uni Györ stun Wisla Can-Pack
30 October 2012: 2013 EuroLeague Women Final Eight hosts are UMMC Ekaterinburg
30 October 2012: Can Bourges Basket qualify for the Final 8
25 October 2012: Perfect start for Bourges and Mondeville
24 October 2012: A fairy tale ending would be nice for Arras
24 October 2012: USO Mondeville have a tough task in group C