Sunday, November 23, 2008
Just last year, the Valenciennes and Saint-Amand teams in the French League could expect to find themselves at or near the top of the league. When those two clubs combined to become Union Hainaut (7-4), they found themselves looking up at the top for the first time. Despite a slow start and unimpressive slew of Euroleague games, Union Hainaut marched into Tarbes (10-1) and sent Tarbes to its very first loss this year in either the French League or Euroleague as the visitors scored an upset, 64-62.
The boxscore is here.
It looked as if Tarbes could keep Union Hainaut away form a win. They led 34-24 at halftime, and probably expected to expand the lead. Instead, Union Hainaut kept up with Tarbes in the third quarter and were still within 10 points, 51-41. In the fourth quarter, Union Hainaut held the home team to 11 points and managed a come from behind victory - down 58-57 with just two minutes left, Bernadette Ngoyisa scored five consecutive points for Union Hainaut to lead them to third place in the French League.
Based on shooting percentage, someone reading the boxscore would expect Tarbes to win automatically - they shot 49 percent compared to Union Hainaut's 40 percent. Rebounding was even, but Union Hainaut picked up six offensive boards compared to Tarbes's two. Furthermore, Tarbes turned the ball over six more times than Union Hainaut. Union Hainaut also shot 90 percent from the free throw stripe and scored three more free throws than Union Hainaut. Add to that the fact that Tarbes only hit one 3-point shot and Union Hainaut found enough space in the boxscore - so to speak - to edge out a win.
For hometeam Tarbes, Isabelle Yacoubou-Dehoui led all players with 21 points and nine rebounds. Ndeye Ndiaye had 17 points and seven rebounds but also five turnovers. Tanisha Wright, a guard for the Seattle Storm playing for Tarbes, had 14 points and eight assists.
The distribution of points for Union Hainaut was a bit more evenhanded. Sabrina Reghaissa led all players with 13 points, but Bernadette Ngoyisa had nine points and 11 rebounds. Sabrina Palie added 11 points and Chioma Nnamaka added nine points for Union Hainaut.
I'm sure there will be pictures of the game soon.