EuroLeague Women Match: Spartak Moscow down Montpellier
Montpellier have lost all five matches in the EuroLeague Women competition this season.
They were not given much chance from Spartak Moscow Region and spent the whole forty minutes chasing the game.
For Kelly Miller playing with Spartak Moscow this was her first time back in Montpellier since her departure at the end of 2006-2007 season.
EuroLeague Women match report
Right from the tip-off Spartak Moscow region went on the attack with Sylvia Fowles scoring with less than 10 seconds on the clock.
Montpellier appeared to be a little confused at the start and failed to construct an attack because Pauline Krawczyk was called for travelling.
Sparkak Moscow's response was quick as Sue Bird launched an attack. This was followed by Diana Taurasi burying a three-pointer (5-0).
It took Montpellier more than two minutes to score their first points through Elodie Bertal. But within 10 seconds Tatiana Shchegoleva was down the other end to score and draw a foul. She was also successful with her free-throw.
Spartak Moscow then stepped up a gear. When Montpellier's head coach, Valéry Demory, called for a time-out with only six minutes played, their opponents were leading (17-4) after scores from Fowles with 4 points and a trey from Jackson.
Sheana Mosch opened her account after the time-out. However Sue Bird replied with her first points of the match through a bullet from down-town.
No matter what Montpellier did Spartak always had an answer.
With Jackson firing her second trey of the evening and Fowles completing the riot, Spartak led (27-14) by the end of the first period.
Spartak Moscow dominate the second Period
The two-minute break appeared to have done Montpellier some good as they kept their guests at bay for the first minutes.
However as soon as Mosch scored, a player from Spartak Moscow, this time Fowles was down the other end in a flash. She was fouled and did not make any mistakes from the free-throw line.
Alexia Plagnard scored the next 5 points for Montpellier (3 +2). Yet Spartak continued to increase their advantage.
With 15 minutes played and another three-pointer from Taurasi they were ahead by 17 points (40-23).
Mosch then decided it was time to take on their guests and scored 5 points with her trademark jump shot. With Sylvie Gruszczynski getting her passing game together Montpellier reduced their deficit (30-42).
Spartak's reaction was simple. In came Saziye Karsli and Bird who then gave a display in the art of shooting from beyond the arc with 3 shots to go into the interval (51-31) at the interval.
In the first half Fowles compiled a double-double with 16 points in the first half of the match while Spartak shot 9-of-16 from beyond the arc.
Montpellier, looking more aggressive, opened the scoring quickly through Mosch. But once again they were caught sleeping by Fowles.
The game became lively as both sides traded basket for basket for the next four minutes.
The only person not smiling was the Spartak Moscow coach, László Rátgéber, who then decided to call a time-out (60-41).
The two teams continued their exchange with Montpellier having the better of the scoring (45-62) with 25 minutes played.
Up stepped Shchegoleva for Spartak with back to back three-pointers. Then Jackson took over in the paint to win 4 free-throws.
Spartak dominated the last five minutes to go into the final period with a comfortable advantage (75-52).
Montpellier's problems with Fowles continued as she hit 3-of-4 from the free-throw line within the first 90 seconds of the last quarter.
Bertal scored early for Montpellier and back to back scores from Gaëlle Skrela (right) gave the home fans something to cheer about.
However there was no cheer as Kelly Miller hit a trey for Spartak Moscow.
Miller had played for Montpellier two seasons ago and is unfortunately remembered for not playing a match in the "Federation Cup" because her sister was not on the roster.
When Leslie Fournier scored her first points of the match for Montpellier the crowd was jubilating.
Yet the game fizzled out with the only highlight a three-point special from Taurasi.
Spartak Moscow went on to win (93-70). They finished with 14-from-29 from beyond the arc with Fowles leading the scoring with 25 points and 17 rebounds.
Taurasi added 17 points including 5-of-9 from beyond the arc while Shechegoleva scored 11 points. Jackson contributed 12 points. Bird dished out 8 assists.
For Montpellier the EuroLeague Women competition is proving to be difficult as they are yet to register a win and with five games remaining they need to start winning quickly if they hope to continue after Christmas.
Mosch led the scoring with 21 points and was joined in double digits by Krawczyk and Skrela with 14 and 11 points apiece.