Taurasi Hits Crucial Free Throws As Fenerbache Escapes Rivas Scare
December 2, 2010
- USA EuroLeague Updates: 11/5 || 11/11 || 11/17 || 11/30
- 2010-11 EuroLeague Schedule & Results
- Select USA Basketball Players -- EuroLeague Stats
- EuroLeague Links: Teams || Players || Stats || Results & Standings
Diana Taurasi has been known to come up big in clutch situations and today she did it again. With her team on the verge of losing its first EuroLeague game of the season and ending Taurasi’s EuroLeague winning streak that extends back to the 2008-09 season, the two-time Olympic gold medalist stepped to the line after being fouled from beyond the arc with nine seconds to play and her team down by a point. And she nailed all three of them to put her team up by two, 79-77. Long-time Spanish National Team veteran Amaya Valdemoro launched a 3-point attempt with six seconds on the clock, but was off the mark and Fenerbache (6-0) escaped with the win against Rivas Ecopolis. Taurasi, who leads the league in scoring (25.7 ppg.) had 22 points against Rivas, along with team-bests of eight rebounds and six assists. Four-time USA Basketball gold medalist Courtney Paris had team-highs of 19 points and 10 rebounds for Rivas, which at 2-4 is desperately seeking several wins over the second half of the season.
Another 2010 USA World Championship Team gold medalist also rocked it for her team in EuroLeague play today. Tina Charles, playing for Nadezhda (2-4), a Russian club that has fielded nine players through most of its six games, helped her team collect a stunning upset over previously unbeaten Ros Casares Valencia (5-1), 87-82. Unlike last week when Nadezhda was leading through three quarters and faltered in the fourth, the team trailed heading into the final stanza, but continued to grind away at the gap for the win. Charles, who erupted for 14 points and two blocked shots in the fourth quarter, finished with game-bests of 27 points and 11 rebounds.
Leading all scorers on the day was Angel McCoughtry, who poured in 32 points to lead MKB Euroleasing Sopron (4-2) to an 88-76 victory over Lotos Gdynia (1-5). Charles’ 27 points was the third-highest output in EuroLeague action this week, while McCouoghtry’s is two points shy of Taurasi’s EuroLeague single-game best this season.
It should be noted that Charles and McCoughtry, in that order, were second and third on the list for Player of the Week honors. The EuroLeague uses an efficiency rating to determine the weekly award and Lauren Jackson's 40 rating eclipsed Charles' 35 and McCoughtry's 33. You could argue Charles for the POW award, since she led her team to such a stunning upset over the powerhouse from Valencia, but using an efficiency rating from week to week keeps everything objective. But we, admittedly biased, still think Charles should get some major props for her performance against Ros.
For the fifth week in a row, Diana Taurasi holds the top spot among scorers with a 25.7 ppg. average. Angel McCoughtry’s 32 points today moves her into second place (20.0 ppg.), while Rebekkah Brunson (19.0 ppg.) ranks third and Tina Charles (17.8 ppg.) is fifth.
Cheryl Ford (13.7 rpg.) continues to lead the rebounding category, but Charles (13.0 rpg.) is a close second and Sylvia Fowles (10.2 rpg.) ranks fifth. Taurasi is the only current or former USA National Team member listing among the top five assist leaders and is tied at No. 4 with 4.8 apg. McCoughtry (2.7 spg.) and Brunson (2.5 spg.) list third and fifth, respectively, among steals leaders; while Charles (5) and Brunson (4) list first and second for double-doubles, with Ford (3), Fowles (3) and Candice Dupree (3) tied at fourth.
Cras Basket Taranto 71, Good Angels Kosice 64
Candice Dupree and Good Angels Kosice (3-3) dropped to the middle of Group A after losing to the visiting Cras Basket Taranto (5-1) 71-64. Dupree posted her third double-double of the season with 22 points and 13 rebounds, but her club fell behind by double digits early, 25-13 at the end of the first stanza, and was never able to recover. Dupree’s teammate Charde Houston was the only other Good Angel in double digits and she just missed out on a double-double with 16 points and nine boards. Megan Mahoney scored a team-high 22 points in her side’s winning effort.
Wisla Can-Pack Krakow 65, USO Mondeville 47
Wisla Can-Pack Krakow (4-2) had an easy time against USO Mondeville (3-3), 65-47, to stay in second place in the Group A standings. The Polish team jumped out in front 26-12 after the first 10 minutes of play and continued to hold off USO Mondeville through to the end. Ewelina Kobryn paced her team to victory with 19 points and nine rebounds, while Valeriya Berezhynska posted 14 points and 11 rebounds for the French outfit.
Pécs 2010 59, TTT Riga 49
The fight between the bottom two teams in Group A was won 59-49 by Pécs 2010 (2-4), as TTT Riga (1-5) fell to the bottom of the bracket. 2010 USA Select Team member Kelsey Griffin led a balanced Pecs club with 17 points, while former DePaul standout Allie Quigley scored 15 points. .
MKB Euroleasing Sopron 88, Lotos Gdynia 76
As mentioned above, Angel McCoughtry’s 32 points powered MKB Euroleasing Sopron (4-2) to a 88-76 win over Lotos Gdynia (1-5). Holding just a 66-63 lead heading into the final stanza, MKB reeled off six unanswered points and never looked back en route to victory. In addition to her 32 points, McCoughtry nabbed five boards and five steals. 2010 USA Select Team member Monica Wright scored a team-best 23 points for Lotos.
Fenerbache 79, Rivas Ecopolis 77
See recap above.
UMMC Ekaterinburg 77, Gospic Croatia 63
Bouncing back from its defeat to Fenerbache last week, UMMC Ekaterinburg (5-1) downed the still-winless Gospic Croatia (0-6) 77-63. Ekat went up early, 24-14 at the first break and 44-31 at halftime, and never looked back. Cappie Pondexter, who finished with 15 points, five rebounds and three assists continues to be a steady force for Ekat; as does Crystal Langhorne, who capped the night with 16 points and eight boards.
Spartak Moscow Region 85, VICI Aistes 52
Still waiting on the arrival of Sue Bird, Spartak Moscow Region (4-2) has upped its record with an 85-52 victory over the struggling VICI Aistes (1-5). Led by Australia’s Lauren Jackson’s 28 points and 14 rebounds, Spartak put together a dominating 45-22 first half performance and cruised through the second half for the win. Ausra Bimbaite top-scored for VICI with 12 points. The game was a payback of sorts after VICI, which went 1-9 last season in EuroLeague play, stunned Spartak 81-79 in the opening game of the season.
Tarbes Gespe Bigorre 68, Galatasaray MP 57
Despite receiving 17 points and 11 rebounds from Sylvia Fowles and 10 points from Seimone Augustus, Galatagasaray Medical Park (2-4) dropped their fourth game of the season, this time to the host Tarbes Gespe Bigorre (3-3) 68-57. Gala is teetering on the cliff of non-advancement and needs to turn things around quickly if it has hopes of getting out of the preliminary round. Tarbes jumped out early and despite winning the third period 23-15, Gala wasn’t able to regain the lead in the end.
Halcon Avenida Salamanca 93, ZVVZ USK Prague 65
Continuing its stranglehold on the top spot in Group C, Halcon Avenida Salamanca (5-1) rolled to a 93-65 victory over the visiting ZVVZ USK Prague (3-3). After going up by six points at the end of the first quarter, Halcon Avenida expanded its lead to 15 at the half and continued to slowly pull further in front through the second half. Halcon, which is heavily stacked with Spain’s 2010 World Championship bronze medalists, was led by Alba Torrens with 22 points, while Sancho Lyttle poured in 21 points and grabbed 13 boards, and Brazil’s Erika de Souza also scored 21. Lindsay Whalen scored a team-high 17 points, while DeLisha Milton-Jones added 16 points and nine rebounds for ZVVZ USK Prague.
Beretta-Famila Schio 68, Frisco Sika Brno 67
In desperate need of a win to keep any hope alive of advancing to the next round, Frisco Sika Brno (1-5) lost a hearbreaker to Beretta-Famila Schio (4-2) at home, 68-67, despite receiving 23 points and 12 boards from Cheryl Ford. Brno took an early lead, led throughout most of the first three quarters and headed into the final stanza with a comfortable 60-49 lead.
However, after Brno scored on the first possession in the fourth quarter to up the ante to 62-49, Brno then missed five straight shot attempts and the Italian team took advantage. Outscoring Brno 9-0 over the next few minutes, Beretta-Famila pulled to 62-58 and Brno called a time out with 7:20 to play. Neither team was able to do much after returning to play until Ford broke the scoring drought at 5:42 to give her team a 6-point, 64-58 lead.
Again Beretta struck back with a 5-0 spurt and with 3:48 to play, Brno’s 13-point lead near the start of the quarter had evaporated to 64-63. Ford hit just one of two free throws, but followed that with a bucket and with 2:01 to play Brno was on top 67-63. But Beretta’s Laura Macchi got a lay-up 16 seconds later and the lead was back to two points. At 1:07 Ford missed a jumper and Beretta’s Liron Cohen followed that with the eventual game-winning 3-pointer on the other end and with 55 ticks on the clock Brno’s lead was gone. Neither team was able to convert in the waning seconds and Beretta came out on top.
Isabelle Yacoubou-Dehoui led Beretta-Famila with 21 points, Cohen scored 14 and Janel McCarville posted eight points and four rebounds.
Bourges Basket 86, KSSSE AZS-PWSZ Gorzow 65
Bourges Basket (4-2) came from behind in a huge second half to down KSSSE AZS-PWSZ Gorzow (2-4) 86-65 in Poland. Bourges made up its first-half 7-point deficit over the first few minutes of the third quarter and it was a see-saw contest from there until Bourges broke open a 51-51 tie to take the lead for good at 3:09.
With Bourges up 58-53 heading into the fourth quarter, the game was still anyone’s to win. Twelve seconds into the fourth period Gorzow cut it to three points, 58-55, and at 9:08 it was still a 3-point game, 60-57. However, the wind slowly left the Gorzow sails as Bourges went on a 12-2 run to jump in front 72-59 at 6:39. Gorzow got back-to-back baskets to stem the bleeding at 72-63, but Bourges again put the hammer down with nine unanswered points that put the game out of reach, 81-63, with 2:12 to go. In all, Bourges outscored Gorzow 28-13 in the fourth period.
Catherine Joens made 6-of-8 from 3-point and finished with a game-high 26 points for Bourges, while Belarussian Yelena Leuchanka posted a double-double of 22 points and 10 rebounds for Gorzow.
Nadezhda 87, Ros Casares 82
Fueled by Tina Charles’ 27 points and 11 rebounds, Nadezhda (2-4) pulled off a huge upset Ros Casares Valencia (5-1), handing the Spanish club its first EuroLeague loss of the season, 87-82. The visiting Russian club took a 24-21 lead after the first quarter, but Ros regained the lead and was up 31-30 with 5:16 left before the midway break. Both teams struggled to get into a rhythm and combined to shoot 0-of-17 and Nadezhda committed six turnovers before the halftime buzzer sounded with the score still standing at 31-30.
The second half began with four lead changes and a tie over the first three minutes. At 6:50 Katie Douglas, who finished with a team-high 24 points, made a layup at 6:50 to spur a 9-0 run as Ros pulled ahead 45-37 at 5:42. Ros remained in the lead and was up 56-50 when the quarter buzzer sounded. Charles, who erupted for 14 points and two blocked shots in the fourth quarter, reeled off six straight points as Nadezhda pulled even, 56-56, with 8:14 to play.
From there the teams remained close and at 5:14, Czech World Championship Team silver medalist Jana Vesela hit the first of two free throws to knot the score again at 67-67. Olga Ovcharenko hit a 3-pointer at 4:12 to break the tie, give her team a lead it would never relinquish and spur an 11-0 run. Following a Ros timeout at 2:12, Marta Fernandez got her team back on the board with a layin and by the 1:40 mark Ros had pulled to eight points, 80-72. While the home team continued their comeback attempt, time expired with Nadezhda on top 87-82.
Charles, who also had three blocked shots, hit 8-of-17 from the field and shot 11-of-14 from the line.
In addition to Douglas’ 24 points, Ros was led in the loss by Rebekkah Brunson’s 17 points and nine rebounds.