Thursday, November 20, 2008

Euroleague 6/2008 - Moscow 88, Villeneuve d'Ascq 79

"Janel I stp on yr foot." "OW MAI FOOT!!"

What is that they say about "any given day"? Isn't that supposed to be a football thing? Don't teams like CSKA Moscow (4-2) get what they want when it comes to Euroleague? Didn't they beat Villeneuve d'Ascq (1-5) by 52 points to open Euroleague play?

I guess that having home court advantage changes things. Against a relatively packed home court of 1600 spectators, Villeneuve d'Ascq came this close to upsetting Moscow, losing 88-79.

The boxscore is here. The writeup is here.

Looking at the quarter-by-quarter score, Villeneuve d'Ascq had a successful first half. They led 24-21 after the first 10 minutes and took a 47-41 lead into halftime. Moscow closed the gap to a bucket after the third quarter, 64-62.

For the first part of the fourth quarter it was the same story: Moscow would tie. Villeneuve d'Ascq would get the next bucket. And so on. The last time that Villeneuve d'Ascq had the lead was at 70-68 with 6:49 remaining. Becky Hammon on the Moscow team would score a three-pointer to put Moscow in the lead for the first time, and Katie Douglas and Becky Hammon would add five more quick points to go up 76-70. Moscow would never lose the lead from that point.

It was definitely a close game with lots of great play. Villeneuve d'Ascq shot 50 percent and Moscow shot 53 percent. Moscow would edge Villeneuve d'Ascq in the battle of the boards. Both teams kept turnovers low (only 11 turnovers for each team in the entire game), and both teams were miserable at the free throw line. Moscow simply muscled their way to a win.

Iziane Castro Marques was the human highlight for Villeneuve d'Ascq. She played almost the entire game, and scored 25 points in just 17 shots - very efficient. Ljubica Drljaca scored 20 points and seven rebounds, and Geraldine Robert scored a double double with 16 points and 11 rebounds. Jolene Anderson played for 15 minutes, but didn't score a single point - if she or Florence Lepron (26 minutes, two points) had stepped up Villeneuve d'Ascq might have won.

As for the All-Star team that calls itself "CSKA Moscow", Ann Wauters (San Antonio Silver Stars) scored 23 points, 11 rebounds and four assists to lead the faux Muscovites. All of the Americans scored in double figures. Becky Hammon (San Antonio Silver Stars) scored 18 points and five assists, Janel McCarville (New York Liberty) scored 16 points, eight rebounds and four assists, and Katie Douglas (Indiana Fever) scored 16 points.

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