Open LFB success for Arras Pays D'Artois Basket Féminin at last

The second match at the Open LFB went the way of Arras, who have finally won a match in Paris.

You can find comments from Sarah Michel and Leilani Mitchell from Arras about their victory in Basket and the City 5 after the game report.

Arras taking on Basket Landes at the Open LFB  ©

Both sides found their shooting touch early with Arras leading (9-5) with less than two minutes on the clock.

Pauline Akonga-Nsimbo ready for action at the Open LFB  © womensbasketball-in-france.comPauline Akonga-Nsimbo was firing in from all over the court, including a three-pointer and had 11 points in the first quarter.

Arras appeared to have more offensive options early on. With Johanne Gomis completing a fast break the lead was already 10 points (17-7) with five minutes remaining.

Olivier Lafargue, the coach from Landes, called for a time-out.

Then Ekaterina Dimitrova set Basket Landes on their way from the free-throw line, followed by Sabrina Reghaissïa hitting a rainbow three.

Scoring became more difficult. Both coaches switched their point guards. Aminata Konate came on for Basket Landes, shortly followed by Princesse Goubou for Arras.

Arras made things difficult for themselves as they missed 4 free-throws.

Basket Landes continued to claw back the score and went in front for the first time with 45 seconds left to play with a three-point play by Bineta Diouf (2+1).

However the teams finished level (20-20).

After the break Marielle Amant who is wearing a face mask put Arrass back in front from the free-throw line.

But Basket Landes were soon back level as Konate was allowed to make a run to the basket to lay up (22-22) after 12 minutes of play.

Neither side was able to get anything going as the match became dull.

Yet Olesia Malashenko opened her account with a jump shot from outside the paint to put Arras back into the lead once more.

The pattern was set as both teams exchanged basket for basket with Basket Landes finishing the exchange in front (34-33) after a long distance shot from Konate.

Diouf then used her power in the paint to score again for Basket Landes. This resulted in a time-out called by Bruno Blier from Arras.

Basket Landes held on to the lead going into the locker room (36-35).

The two teams continued from where they left off in the first half with the lead changing after each basket with Arras finishing up ahead (39-38).

Arras started to play more aggressively and took control of the game.

Leilani Mitchell at the Open LFB 2009 in Paris  © womensbasketball-in-france.comWith Leilani Mitchell's passes finding its target Arras went on a 12-2 run to lead (51-40) with just over two minutes remaining in the third quarter.

Basket Landes had no choice but to take risks. But they were unable to reduce the deficit trailing (46-57) going into the final period.

Despite the game becoming more physical it was not that interesting to watch as both sides neutralised each other.

Basket Landes managed to take Arras out of their stride and reduced their deficit to 7 points (53-60) with five minutes to play.

Arras finally found their running game. With Mitchell showing her class all round the court and and Malashenko finishing in the paint, Arras led (70-56) with just under three minutes to play.

Basket Landes lost Ana Peric and Anna Le Gluher for 5 fouls during the closing phase. They were unable to make up the deficit allowing Arras to win for the first time at the Open (73-65).

Open LFB: Box Score

Watch the game here: Basket Landes 65-73 Arras

Open LFB Basket and the City 5 after-match comments Sarah Michel at the Open LFB 2009 in Paris  © Sarah Michel explained in French that it was always difficult to play at the Open LFB because of the big crowd and that all the teams came to win. However she concluded that for her side it was the first victory in Paris, that the game was difficult at the start but once they got going it was okay. They also managed to get through the difficult phases during the game which she viewed as encouraging for the rest of the season.

Leilani Mitchell at the Open LFB 2009 in Paris  © Utah UniversityLeilani Mitchell is in her second second season in France but missed the Open LFB last season because of her involvement in the WNBA play-offs.

She likes the concept of Basket and the City and believes it is a good way to start the season.

It is the one chance to meet all the players from the other clubs and having a little fun and also to play in front of big a crowd.

She explained that it was not a pretty game, that they forced some things and forced shots. But on the positive side they played hard for 40 minutes.

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Picture credits:
Utah University

Date created: 26 September 2009

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