USA Basketball Women Tip-Off EuroLeague Season
October 25, 2012
Following on the heels of the WNBA Finals, the EuroLeague women tipped-off its 2012-13 season. There was extensive player movement, most notably Diana Taurasi's return to Russia where she's teaming up with Candace Parker and 'Who's Who' of international all-stars in Ekaterinburg. You may recall that Taurasi teamed with Sue Bird at Spartak Moscow in winning a record four-straight EuroLeague titles. Spartak also listed Sylvia Fowles and Tina Thompson on its roster during those years, but the steady force was the Bird-Taurasi duo. While Bird hasn't reported to Ekat, in addition to Parker and Taurasi the squad is bolstered by the likes of Russia Olympians Olga Arteshina and Maria Stepanova, Spain's Silvia Dominguez, Olympic silver medalist Sandrine Gruda, and Olympian and former European Young Women Player of the Year Anete Jekabsone of Latvia.
While the first week of action saw some surprising wins, close losses and the debut of serveral new EuroLeague squads, the season is still young. That said, only the top four teams from each group are guaranteed to advance to the second round and from there the competition gets harder in attempting to make it to the Final Eight. Thus, a slight mishap that leads to the loss in the early games could be enough to keep a team gaining momentum in the latter part of the season out of the next round.
How did some of the U.S. Olympic gold medalists and other American players who have recently been part of USA Basketball teams fare this week? Take a look at the brief recaps below.
In the opening week's first contest, Candice Dupree scorched the nets for 26 points to lead Spartak Moscow Region Vidnoje to an 88-81 victory over EuroLeague newcomer Tarsus of Turkey, despite receiving 22 points, eight boards and five assists from Danielle Robinson and 10 points and six boards from DeLisha Milton-Jones.
This week saw the EuroLeague debut of three-time USA Basketball gold medalist and 2012 WNBA Rookie of the Year Nnemkadi Ogwumike. While her team lost a heartbreaker in overtime, Ogwumike was impressive. She scored 21 points, hitting 7-of-15 from the field, including nailing her one 3-point attempt of the game, while grabbing four boards in CCC Polkowice's 86-82 loss to USO Mondeville. Keep an eye out for Ogwumike, who has a good shot at moving up to the USA National Team level after donning the red, white and blue jersey through her college career.
Week 1 Results
|Spartak 88, Tarsus 81|
|UE Sopron 56, Arras 52|
|Famila Schio 76, Municipal Targoviste 75|
|Galatasaray 79, Novi Zagreb 48|
|Perfumerias Avenida 62, ZVVZ USK Prague 56|
|Nadezhda 70, Good Angels Kosice 65|
|USO Mondville 86, CCC Polkowice 82 (OT)|
|Bourges Basket 61, Wisla Can-Pack 55|
|Uni Györ 72, BK IMOS Brno 70|
|Bye Week: Rivas Ecopolis, Fenerbache,
Top U.S. Performances
|DeWanna Bonner: 22 points, 8 rebounds|
|Candice Dupree: 26 points|
|Sylvia Fowles: 10 points, 16 rebounds|
|Nneka Ogwumike: 21 points, 4 rebounds|
|Danielle Robinson: 22 points, 8 rebounds, 5 assists|
|•||Seimone Augustus (Spartak Moscow Region)|
|•||Sue Bird (UMMC Ekaterinburg)|
|•||Rebekkah Brunson (ZVVZ USK Prague)|
|•||Swin Cash (China)|
|•||Tina Charles(Wisla Can-Pack)|
|•||Candice Dupree (Spartak Moscow Region)|
|•||Sylvia Fowles (Galatasaray)|
|•||Shenise 'Mo Mo' Johnson (Uniqa Euroleasing Sopron)|
|•||Jantel Lavender (Famila Schio)|
|•||Angel McCoughtry (Fenerbache)|
|•||DeLisha Milton-Jones (Tarsus Belediye)|
|•||Maya Moore (China)|
|•||Renee Montgomery (Nadezhda Orenburg)|
|•||Natalie Novosel (Municipal Targoviste)|
|•||Nneka Ogwumike (CCC Polkowice)|
|•||Candace Parker (UMMC Ekaterinburg)|
|•||Cappie Pondexter (Fenerbache)|
|•||Danielle Robinson (Tarsus)|
|•||Diana Taurasi (UMMC Ekaterinburg)|
|•||Courtney Vandersloot (Novi Zagreb)|
|•||Kia Vaughn (ZVVZ USK Prague)|
|•||Lindsay Whalen (Galatasaray)|
|•||Glory Johnson (BC Chevakata Vologda)|
|•||Temeka Johnson (Dynamo Kursk)|
|•||Asjha Jones (Kayseri Kaski)|
|•||Jasmine Thomas (Chevakata)|
|NOTE: The above athletes listed on a USA Basketball team during the 2009-12 quadrennium. Several 2012 U.S. Olympic Team members have not yet joined their EuroLeague, EuroCup or China League teams.|
Fowles put up a double-double of 10 points and 16 rebounds to lead Galatasaray to a commanding 79-48 victory over Novi Sad, which after jsut one season in the EuroCup (2010-11), is competing in the EuroLeague for the first time this year. "It was a tough game for us, we must credit Galatasaray," said Courtney Vandersloot, who managed four points and two assists in 22 minutes for the newcomers. "They are a very good basketball team and very experienced in the EuroLeague Women. They started the game tough and we dug ourselves in a hole. Against a team like Galatasaray we have to play our best for 40 minutes, and tonight we didn't do that."
A late 3-pointer down the stretch by Shenise Johnson helped host UE Sopron clinch a victory over the French club Arras 56-52. Holding just a one-point, 53-52, edge, with eight seconds remaining on the clock Johnson swished in the trey to push her squad ahead 56-62. Arras missed its final two attempts and the buzzer sounded with the Hungarian club on top. Johnson finished with a game-best 16 points and added seven rebounds and three assists.
Perfumerias Avenida started out its 2013 EuroLeague campaign with a big 62-56 road win over ZVVZ USK Prague, which was without the services of Rebekkah Brunson. Three-time USA Basketball medalist Nicole Powell led the Spanish club to victory with 16 points. "I tried hard to lead the team to the victory even if I was so tired," said Kia Vaughn, a member of the 2009-12 USA Basketball Women's National Team, who led ZVVZ USK PRague wtih 16 points and 11 rebounds. "I tried to shoot and hoped to score. But they performed really well in defense today and that decided the result."
Bourges Basket led from start to finish and came away with a 61-55 victory over Wisla Can-Pack, which is awaiting the arrival of Tina Charles and Katie Douglas.
Famila Schio outscored host Municipal Targoviste 21-14 in the fourth quarter to earn a 76-75 come-from-behind victory. Laura Macchi led Famila Schio with 18 points, whie Gabriela Marginean put up 17 points for the EuroLeague newcomers.
Nadezhda, yet another club awaiting the arrival of American players from the WNBA, got 22 points and eight rebounds from two-time USA Basketball gold medalist DeWanna Bonner in a 70-65 victory over the visiting Good Angels Kosice. Former DePaul standout Allie Quigley posted 17 points for the visiting Slovakian team.
In a down-to-the-wire finish, Uni Györ held off a surging BK IMOS Brno 72-70. 2009 USA U19 World Championship Team gold medalist Chay Shegog topped the charts for Uni Györ wtih 17 points and eight rebounds, while 2003 USA U21 World Championship gold medalist Nicole Ohlde had 17 points for Brno.