2010-11 EuroLeague Week Five … Two Teams Remain Unbeaten
November 30, 2010
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The fifth week of 2010-11 EuroLeague action took place while most of us were gorging ourselves on turkey, stuffing and all the fixings that accompany Thanksgiving dinner. Because of that, we’re giving a brief run-down of last week’s games in anticipation of this week’s clashes over the next two days. The biggest game of the week was a clash between 2008, 2009 and 2010 Final Four participant UMMC Ekaterinburg and Fenerbache, which advanced to the last two EuroLeague quarterfinals only to be swept by Ekat (2010) and Spartak (2009).
Led by Diana Taurasi’s 23 points, Fenerbache remained unbeaten and earned a huge road win against then-undefeated UMMC Ekaterinburg, 73-67. Taurasi, who shot 5-of-10 from 3-point, also had seven rebounds and three assists. She was aided in the win by her Phoenix Mercury teammate Penny Taylor of Australia, who posted 13 points, eight rebounds, six assists and a pair of steals. Cappie Pondexter was unable to connect from beyond the arc and scored 12 points to go with three assists for the hosts, while 2007 USA Basketball U21 World Championship gold medalist Crystal Langhorne poured in a team-high of 17 points on 8-of-9 from the field, and grabbed six boards in the losing effort.
The two teams have one more clash before the preliminary round is out. That will come on the final game of the round, Jan. 19, and is likely to determine the final standings for the next round.
Nothing has changed atop the statistical leaderboard for scoring as Diana Taurasi continues to lead the league with a 26.4 ppg. averaged. She’s followed in the second position by Rebekkah Brunson (19.4 ppg.), while 2007 USA U21 World Championship gold medalist DeWanna Bonner rounds out the top five (18.2 ppg.) as the third American among the league’s top scorers. We’d be remiss not to mention No. 7 DeLisha Milton-Jones (17.8 ppg.) and No. 8 Angel McCoughtry (17.6 ppg.), who are among the league’s top ten scorers.
Cheryl Ford, a member of the 2002 USA World Championship Team, leads the rebounders with a 14.0 rpg. average, while Tina Charles is No. 2 (12.0 rpg.), Brunson (10.4 rpg.) is tied at No. 5, Sylvia Fowles (10.0 rpg.) ranks seventh, Bonner (9.8 rpg.) eighth and Milton-Jones (9.0 rpg.) and Candice Dupree are tied with two others at No. 10.
USA Basketball has a pair of recent gold medalists among the top 10 in assists with Taurasi (4.6 apg.) listing as tied at No. 4 and Lindsay Whalen (4.4 apg.) tied at No. 6.
Additionally, Brunson and Charles are tied with the most double-doubles of the year as both have recorded four in five games.
Wisla Can-Pack 66, Good Angels Kosice 61
Sitting in a three-way tie for second place with a 3-2 mark is Wisla Can-Pack, which dropped Good Angels Kosice (3-2) 66-61 at home. In a close game throughout, Wisla’s Katarzyna Krezel picked off her only steal of the game and hit her lone with 7:04 to play to put her side up 52-51. From there, Wisla got scores from three different players as it pulled ahead 58-55 at 4:39 and held off the Good Angels for the win. Australia’s Erin Phillips scored a game-high 18 points, while Janel Burse hit for 14 for Wisla. Candice Dupree, who owns the USA’s World Championship field goal percentage record, had an off night, shooting just 4-of-12 to finish with 10 points and seven rebounds for Good Angels; while Charde Houston contributed 11 points and eight rebounds.
TTT Riga 55, USO Mondeville 50
TTT Riga (1-4) finally collected its first win of the season after clipping USO Mondeville (3-2) 55-50. However, the Latvian club is still in the basement of Group A and needs to string together at least four more wins to have a chance of advancing to the next round.
Cras Basket Taranto 68, Pécs 2010 40
Cras Basket Taranto (4-1) got back on its winning ways after easily defeating Pécs 2010 (1-4) 68-40. Like TTT Riga, Pécs 2010 has a ways to go if it hopes to advance to the next round. The Italian club went up 30-23 at the half and posted a 19-6 third-quarter victory before cruising in for the win.
MKB Euroleasing Sopron 82, Gospic Croatia 68
Heading into the final quarter with a knotted score, 58-58, Angel McCoughtry scored 13 of her game-high 20 points in the final stanza to help lift MKB Euroleasing Sopron (3-2) to an 82-68 victory over Gospic Croatia (0-5). In addition to her 20 points, McCoughtry grabbed 10 rebounds for her second double-double of the season; while Amber Holt added 17 points, eight rebounds and five assists in the victory.
Fenerbache S.K. 73, UMMC Ekaterinburg 67
Diana Taurasi once again led her new Fenerbache (5-0) club to victory and continues to lead all EuroLeague scorers. See recap above.
Rivas Ecopolis 70, Lotos Gdynia 65
Rivas Ecopolis (2-3) kept its playoff hopes alive after edging Lotos Gdynia (1-4) 70-65. The hosts were ahead by two points, 67-65, with 1:24 to play. DeWanna Bonner had the opportunity to make it four points, but missed her second free throw at 1:01 and put Rivas up by just three, 68-65. However, Lotos missed its final two attempts down the stretch and Elise Aguilar hit both her attempts from the line in the final seconds for the 70-65 victory. Spanish National Team member and WNBA champion with the Houston Comets, Amaya Valdemoro’s 22 points led her team to victory. Bonner finished with 16 points, seven rebounds and four steals; while four-time USA Basketball gold medalist Courtney Paris grabbed 10 boards and scored five points. The two Americans on Lotos, Monica Wright and Sandora Irvin, scored 17 and 10 points, respectively.
Spartak Moscow Region Vidnoje 72, Halcon Avenida 60
After a slow start to the season, Spartak Moscow Region (3-2) seems to be picking up the pace. The Russian club downed previously undefeated Halcon Avenida Salamanca (4-1) 72-60. Russia’s Irinia Osipova put together a 15-point, 7-rebound performance to lead Spartak, while Brazil’s Erika de Souza scored a team-high 19 points for Halcon.
ZVVZ USK Prague 84, Galatasaray MP 56
Lindsay Whalen had 16 points, six boards and four assists in helping ZVVZ USK Prague (3-2) up its record after earning an 84-56 win over Galatasaray MP (2-3), 84-56. The hosts gained a double-digit lead after the first quarter, 26-14, and never looked back en route to the victory, which was aided by a double-double by DeLisha Milton-Jones and 25 points from eventual Week 5 Player of the Week Eva Viteckova. Despite receiving 23 points and nine rebounds from Sylvia Fowles and 11 points from Seimone Augustus, Gala was never really in the game and needs to pick up several more wins in the second half of the preliminary round.
Tarbes Gespe Bigorre 63, VICI Aistes Kaunas 59
In a battle to stay out of last place, Tarbes Gespe Bigorre (2-3) stayed out of last place with a 63-59 win over VICI Aistes Kaunas (1-4).
KSSE AZS-PWSZ Gorzow 76, Nadezhda 73
KSSE AZS-PWSZ Gorzow (2-3) kept its playoff hopes alive, while Nadezhda (1-4), playing with a depleted roster of just nine athletes, continued to struggle as the Polish side outscored its visitors 21-8 in the fourth quarter for the eventual 76-73 victory. Tina Charles posted her fourth double-double of the season with 18 points and 13 caroms in the loss, while Kalana Greene contributed 14 points for Gorzow.
Ros Casares Valencia 82, Frisco Sika Brno 74
Behind a double-double of 27 points and 12 rebounds from Rebekkah Brunson, Ros Casares Valencia (5-0) kept its unbeaten streak alive with a 82-74 victory over visiting Frisco Sika Brno (1-4). The losing team also had an American post a double-double as Cheryl Ford scored 17 points and hauled in 20 boards.
Beretta-Famila Schio 77, Bourges Basket 68
Beretta-Famila Schio (3-2) pulled even with its visitors in the Group B standings after downing Bourges Basket (3-2) 77-68 in overtime. Bourges Basket’s Maja Miljkovic hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer at the end of regulation to send the game into overtime knotted at 60-all. With Bourges up by one and 2:55 on the clock, Liron Cohen hit a 3-pointer to retake the lead, 64-62. Janel McCarville followed that with a pair of free throws and after a Bourges trey, Cohen hit another three and with 1:31 to play Schio was up 69-65 and held off Bourges for the eventual victory. Cohen finished wiwth 20 points, while McCarville scored eight to go with 11 boards.