Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Euroleague 3/2008 - Ekaterinburg 89, Ros Casares 81 (OT)

In a game that ended in a tie both in the third quarter and at the end of regulation, it would take a little bit extra for Ekaterinburg (3-0) to get its third Euroleague Group C win against Ros Casares (1-2). Ros Casares took the long trip from Spain to Russia for the game, but fell slightly short.

The game writeup is here.

The box score is here.

Ekaterinburg and Ros Casares are two teams from whom much was expected in Euroleague play, and 6,500 spectators in Ekaterinburg knew that "El Ros" would be tough. At halftime, Ros Casares led 43-28. Ekaterinburg, boasting a virtually all-star WNBA lineup, was not the kind of team to dismiss and Ekaterinburg went on a 24-9 run in the third quarter to tie the game 52-52.

In the fourth quarter, Ekaterinburg pushed to a lead that many thought would seal the victory, but Ros Casares's Amaya Valdemoro, a popular Spanish player on the national team, hit a basket with 1.5 seconds left to send the game into overtime, 76-76. Unfortunately, Ros Casares wes outscored 13-5 in extra time.

Ekaterinburg outshot Ros Casares 50 percent to 46 percent. With Erika de Souza contributing 15 rebounds for Ros Casares, Ros Casares won the battle of the rebounds (but I think the box score has offensive and defensive rebounds mixed up). Ros Casares had five more turnovers than Ekaterinburg, 23-18, and even though they went to the free throw line more often, both teams shot the same - 67 percent - giving Ros Casares only two extra points.

Cappie Pondexter (Phoenix Mercury) led Ekaterinburg with 23 points and five rebounds, and Agnieszka Bibrzycka followed with 22 points and five rebounds. Ashja Jones (Connecticut Sun) scored 11 points and six rebounds, Sandrine Gruda (Connecticut Sun) scored 13 points and nine rebounds, and Deanna Nolan (Detroit Shock) scored 10 points and four assists. Other familiar names on the Ekaterinburg roster are Penny Talyor (Phoenix Mercury in 2007) with 5 points in 17 minutes of play, Yelena Leuchanka with two points and Elena Baranova (New York Liberty 2005) who was held scoreless in only five minutes of play.

Dream watchers might remember Yelena Leuchanka. She played for the Mystics in 2007 but skipped playing for the Atlanta Dream in 2008 to play for the Belorussian Women's Olympic team.

For visiting Ros Casares, Erika de Souza had 16 points and 15 rebounds, a double-double, with Amaya Valdemoro scoring 22 points. Delisha Milton-Jones scored 15 points and eight rebounds, with Roneeka Hodges being held scoreless in 12 minutes of play and attempting only two shots.

Pictures will be added later.

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