Sylvia Fowles was perfect during the first 10 minutes and did not miss a single shot while scoring 12 points. She fouled out during the game’s climax and finished on 17 points. Sue Bird was neat and contributed 12 points.
Frida Eldebrink gave the EuroLeague Women Champions a scare in the first 10 minutes. She went perfect from the field and led all scoring with 13 points.
She was closely followed for the rest of the game but still finished as leading scorer for Tarbes with 19 points.
Fatimatou Sacko is back to her very best. She was active all over the court and scored 16 points and picked up 8 rebounds while Charde Houston and Pauline Jannault also finished in double digits with 14 and 10 points each.
Tarbes’ hope of continuing in the EuroLeague Women competition depends on Frisco Sika Brno winning next week.
EuroLeague Women game report: Tarbes were close
Spartak Moscow Region did not waste time and led (9-0) with less than two minutes played. François Gomez from Tarbes called for an early time-out and calmed his players down.
Charde Houston was withdrawn from the action and replaced by Isabelle Yacoubou-Dehoui. However it was Frida Elebrink with her one-lady show with 7 points in less than 60 seconds to bring Tarbes right back into the game.
Spartak Moscow were forced to change their approach. Sylvia Fowles became more aggressive and started to find her way to the basket as the defending champions held on to the lead.
Eldebrink continued to cause problems and fired in her 13th point of the quarter to reduce the deficit (18-20).
Diana Taurasi forced her way through to score. Yet Pauline Jannault responded almost immediately for the hosts.
Fowles’ perfect quarter continued with scoring her 12th point (23-20) which happened to be the last points of the quarter.
The second quarter got off to an electric start with Houston opening her account for Tarbes. Once again Sparkak Moscow replied with back to back scores from Sue Bird and Ilona Korstin.
Tarbes did not panic. Their captain Isis Arrondo used her pace well and found Houston on two occasions to score for Tarbes and go in front for the only time in the match (28-27).
Pokey Chapman called a time-out immediately and told her players to relax. She also brought Fowles back into the game.
Fowles’ first action was to score. This was followed up by scores from Bird and Janell Mc Carville.
Emma Randall broke the sequence with a three-pointer for Tarbes. Yet their relief was short lived as Taurasi went on the war path with 8 consecutive points which included a couple of shots from behind the arc.
Spartak appeared to have weathered the storm leading (41-33) midway through the second period. However Tarbes found their mark twice from behind the arc with scores from Fatimatou Sacko and Anne Breitreiner.
Taurasi continued her one lady demolition job and even managed to win an intentional foul called on Breitreiner. The home fans were not impressed by the call and for the rest of the quarter booed the officials.
The game became a little untidy with Yacoubou-Dehoui picking up 2 fouls that took her total to 4.
The only player that was not bothered by the crowd was Taurasi who was doing all the scoring and finished the first half with a buzzer-beater three-pointer (49-42) for her 21st point of the game.
Bird opened the scoring after the break with a three-pointer before the fans could settle into their seats.
Once again Spartak Moscow region gave the impression that they were in control.
Tarbes, pushed by the home fans, went on the attack. Sacko fired in a trey, quickly followed by Eldebrink scoring her first points since her festival in the opening quarter.
Taurasi was again on target after finding her way into the paint to add a couple more points for the defending champions that maintained their advantage (56-47).
Houston gave a reminder that Taurasi and Bird were not the only players from the University of Connecticut on the court by adding 2 points in the paint for Tarbes.
Sacko and Taurasi exchanged scores before Houston and Eldebrink reduced the deficit (58-61) with back to back scores.
Chapman decided to call a time-out with just under three minutes remaining in the quarter and basically told her players to be more aggressive.
Spartak had picked up just 1 foul in the first 20 minutes but afterwards picked up 3 quick fouls which allowed Houston to get to the free-throw line.
Spartak Moscow went to work and finished with a 7-0 run to go into the final quarter leading (68-60).
The last quarter was tough physically. Tarbes fought tooth and nail.
All the same Spartak Moscow remained in charge with Bird and Taurasi scoring when required (73-66) to stay in front with six minutes left.
Tarbes did not give up and Sacko (right) forced Fowles into fouling her while she went for a trey. Sacko kept her cool and made all free-throws. Then Florence Lepron made it a 2-point game with five minutes to play.
The teams were tied when Yacoubou-Dehoui fired in a couple of free-throws (73-73) after forcing Fowles into committing her 5th foul.
However cool Taurasi fired in a trey and then set up Anete Jekabsone-Zogota to score (78-73).
The game became rather messy and despite Yacoubou-Dehoui scoring for the hosts, the last minute was littered with errors by both sides with Spartak Moscow holding on to win (78-75).
EuroLeague Women box score
EuroLeague Women picture credits:
Laurant Dard - La Dépêche
Video - Pascale Sonnevill @ Vi@ PRODUCTION VIDÉO
Date created: 13 January 2010