Tarbes Gespe Bigorre lead 2009 LFB Championship play-off series

The first game of the 2009 LFB championship play-off final will not go down in the Ligue Féminine de BasketBall history books as a classic.

Isabelle Yacoubou-Dehoui © Ligue Féminine de BasketBallIn the first half of the match the two teams combined for a total of 2-of-12 from the free-throw line.

Tarbes only managed to hit 10-of-36 from the field and forgot about defending during a disappointing first 20 minutes and were 0-of-5 from the free-throw line.

If not for the 10 points of Isabelle Yacoubou-Dehoui (right) and 8 rebounds Tarbes would have been in more difficulty.

Although Bourges Basket had the better of the first 20 minutes they also did not much better than their guests.

However they took less shots but connected more often to take an early advantage.

Bourges Basket opened the game with the first six points of the game and led (16-11) at the end of the first period.

Nora Bujdoso © Ligue Féminine de BasketBallNora Bujdoso (left) was the key player for Bourges Basket with her 9 points as they went into the interval leading (28-22).

After the break both sides came out with more purpose. Bourges Basket went on the offensive with Emméline Ndongue and with 22 minutes played they had increased their advantage (33-22).

The home supporters had to wait almost four minutes for their first points of the second half.

Polina Tzekova once again showed the youngsters how to play in the paint to score.

Tanisha Wright who was not having a good game then hit a jump shot. The pendulum started to change directions in favour of the hosts despite the efforts of Ndongue and Nwal-Endéné Miyem .

Liene Janson finally ended Tarbes’ misery from the free-throw line with 25 minutes played and then the remaining five minutes belonged to Tarbes and Yacoubou.

Wright and Liz Moeggenberg found their passing game and Yacoubou scored 10 of her side’s 16 unanswered points to take the lead (44-37) at the end of the third period.

Tarbes’ advantage grew (48-37) in a tactical start to the final period.

Bourges Basket were unable to take advantage of the absence of Yacoubou on the court and only managed to reduce their deficit slightly (41-48).

François Gomez © womensbasketball-in-france.comThe last five minutes became a tactical battle between François Gomez, (right) the coach from Tarbes and Pierre Vincent, the coach from Bourges.

However a three-pointer from Wright with just over four minutes to play was the knock-out blow as Bourges failed to recover (41-52).

Both teams continued to miss free-throws in the closing minutes as Tarbes went on to win (55-47) to take a 1-0 lead in the best of three series.

Yacoubou-Dehoui scored 23 points and took 12 rebounds, had a couple of blocks but was 3-of-8 from the free-throw line.

Tzekova scored 10 points and seized 6 rebounds in 17 minutes.

Ndongue led the scoring for Bourges Basket with 12 points.

Game 2 is on Saturday, 9 May at 19:30 in Bourges.

LFB Championship Play-off Box Score

Bourges Basket and Tarbes Gespe Bigorre qualify for LFB final

Bourges Basket and Tarbes Gespe Bigorre win game one

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Picture credits:

Ligue Féminine de BasketBall

Date created: 06 May 2009

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