Olympians Power Teams To Quarterfinal Victories
Feb. 23, 2010 - 2009-10 EuroLeague Results
As expected, Spartak Moscow Region, which features three Olympic gold medalists on its roster, and UMMC Ekaterinburg, featuring two, each won their first EuroLeague quarterfinal contest and both are one victory away from returning to the Final Four. Diana Taurasi, firing on all cylinders, shot 5-of-7 from 3-point en route to a game-high 28 points. She continues to lead all EuroLeague scorers, a spot she has not relinquished all season. USA teammates Sylvia Fowles, 18 points and 12 rebounds, and Sue Bird, 10 points and four assists, were also instrumental in the 90-79 victory over Fenerbache. In Ekaterinburg, it was Candace Parker who powered her team to a 81-56 win over Good Angels Kosice with 21 points and 14 rebounds, while Cappie Pondexter posted 11 points and four assists.
Host Wisla Can-Pack came from behind to notch a 78-74 victory over Frisco Sika Brno, while Ros Casares Valencia, with the help of DeLisha Milton-Jones, earned a 74-50 victory over the visitors from Halcon Avenida.
This best-of-three quarterfinal series saw all four home teams win today, continues Friday where it's a win or go home situation for today's losing teams.
Spartak Moscow Region 90, Fenerbache 79
Early in the contest Diana Taurasi hit back-to-back buckets, giving her team a lead it would never relinquish and sparking a 14-4 run that left Spartak ahead 19-9 with 4:30 to go in the first quarter. By the end of the period Spartak's advantage was 32-15 and the Russian squad never looked back en route to the 90-79 win.
Taurasi led all scorers with 28 points on 10-of-17 shooting from the field. Sylvia Fowles hit 6-of-10 from the floor, was perfect on all six shots from the line, scored 18 points and grabbed 12 boards. Sue Bird was the third and final player to notch a double-digit scoring night with 10 points to go with four assists, while American Janel McCarville scored seven points, grabbed four rebounds, dished out three assists, nabbed three steals and had one blocked shot. Former USA National Team player Nicole Powell hit 6-of-9 from 3-point and led Fener with 25 points, while Turkey's Nevriye Yilmaz scored 22. Australia's Penny Taylor, who averages 15.6 ppg. in EuroLeague play, was held to just 1-of-9 shooting on the floor and finished with four points.
-We did what we had to do to win (against) a very good opponent," said McCarville. -Now all we need to do is to execute our game plan in Turkey and reach the Final Four."
UMMC Ekaterinburg 81, Good Angels Kosice 56
Good Angels Kosice hung in the game for the first 16 minutes, but UMMC Ekaterinburg is simply too strong and came away with the 81-56 victory. Holding a 28-25 lead, Ekat's Svetlana Abrosimova got a tip-in to spark a 9-2 push that left the home team ahead by 10 points, 37-27, with 2:45 to play before halftime. Trailing 47-36, Slovakia's Ivana Jalcova hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to close the half with a 47-39 deficit. Ekaterinburg's defense was strong out of the locker room, holding Good Angels to just five points, while increasing its lead to 20 points, 64-44. The Slovakian squad never recovered as Ekat cruised through the final stanza for the win.
Ekaterinburg's Candace Parker was the game's leading scorer with 21 points and tied with USA National Team hopeful Candice Dupree of Kosice with a high of 14 rebounds. Parker's Olympic teammate Cappie Pondexter aided in the win with 11 points, while Abrosimova had 14 points and France's Sandrine Gruda scored 13. Dupree's 13 points and 14 rebounds led Kosice, while USA National Team hopeful Angel McCoughtry had 12 points and eight boards and Jalcova also scored 12 points in the loss.
Parker shot 9-of-11 from the line and 6-of-10 from the field and also was credited for four of UMMC's six blocked shots. Ekaterinburg's defensive efforts held Dupree and McCoughtry, Kosice's top two players, to just 10-of-29 from the field.
Wisla Can-Pack 78, Frisco Sika Brno 74
Led by 18 points and 12 rebounds from Janell Burse, Wisla Can-Pack dug itself out of a 15-point hole with 15 minutes to play to clip Frisco Sika Brno 78-74. After an even first period that ended at 19-19, Brno quickly jumped out to a 10-point, 29-19, lead in under three minutes of play. By halftime, the hosts headed into the locker room behind 43-34 and looked to regroup. However, with fewer than five minutes to go in the third quarter, Brno went ahead 56-41 on a Taj McWilliams-Franklin jumper.
Determined to not let this game slip away any further, Wisla scored the game's next six points to get back on track. Continuing to cut the gap, Wisla closed out the third period on a pair of Maria Fernandez free throws that pulled her side to within six points, 62-56, with 10 minutes to play. Forcing the visitors to 2-of-7 from the field, the hosts went ahead for the first time since early in the first quarter on an Izi Castro Marques 3-pointer and held a 70-69 edge with five minutes to play. With 3:10 remaining Burse hit 1-of-2 from the line to break a 72-72 tie. Following a Brno miss, Liron Cohen nailed a 3-pointer for a little breathing room, 76-72, with 2:37 to play.
From there neither team was able to put much together as DeWanna Bonner scored her side's final two points of the game from the line at 2:26 and Burse hit a jumper at the 16-second mark for the game's last points.
In addition to her 18 points and 12 boards, Burse dished out six assists and had four blocked shots. Ewelina Kobryn also notched 18 points and grabbed 11 boards, while Castro Marques was the third Wisla player to score 18 points and Cohen finished with 13. The Czech Republic's Eva Viteckova scored a team-high 22 points, Jelena Skerovic notched 20 and Bonner finished with 17 points and 12 rebounds. McWilliams-Franklin just missed a double-double with eight points and 10 rebounds.
Ros Casares Valencia 74, Halcon Avenida Salamanca 50
Ros Casares built a 17-10 lead to open the game, was never seriously threatened and continued to pull away for the eventual 74-50 victory over 2009 Final Four participant Halcon Avenida Salamanca.
Australia's Belinda Snell led all scorers with a season-high 21 points, while adding six rebounds, four assists and two steals for Ros. Two-time Olympic and World Championship gold medalist DeLisha Milton-Jones followed with 14 points, while Spain's Laia Palau posted 13 points. Brazil's Erika de Souza cleaned the glass for a game-high 10 rebounds.
Le'Coe Willingham had a team-high 17 points for Halcon Avenida, while Sancho Lyttle scored 13 points.