Tuesday, November 4, 2008

WCBA 6/2008 - Jiangsu 91, Liaoning 78

Jiangsu (4-2) likely knew this would be a tough game coming in: Liaoning (5-1) had been the team that broke the streak of Bayi Telecom's continual run of WCBA championships. Undefeated this year. The only team that had won a WCBA championship other than Bayi Telecom. But Jiangsu ignored Liaoning's reputation, and delivered a stunning 91-78 defeat to the champs at home in Jiangsu.

The boxscore is here.

Jiangsu began to beat up Liaoning coming right out of the box. They led 18-9 after the first quarter, and held an eight point lead against a dangerous Liaoning team 38-30. Coming out of haltime, they poured on more points, beating Liaoning 27-17 in the fourth quarter alone. Liaoning tried a fourth quarter comeback - scoring 31 points - but Jiangsu almost matched them basket for basket, a testimony to Jiangsu's never-say-die spirit.

Jiansgu shot 44 percent compared to Liaoning's 41 percent. Both teams battled hard under the boards, playing virtually even. Turnovers were also even. But the game was virtually decided at the free throw line, as both teams had three players foul out. Liaoning outshot Jiangsu at the free throw line, 85 percent to 78 percent. However, Liaoning sent Jiangsu to the line 12 more times than they themselves got to visit.

Regarding free throws: it just goes to show that in weaker leagues, good free throw shooting can be the key to being an elite team.

Three players virtually carried Jiangsu on their back. Chen Xiaojia led Jiangsu with 24 points, six rebounds and four assists. Xu Song had a double-double with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Ann Strother scored 20 points on 20 shots - the definition of efficiency - and added six rebounds and three assists.

For Liaoning, Chen Xiaoli was a one-woman team, scoring 30 points and 10 rebounds on 13-for-21 shooting. The only othesr player at Liaoning to score in double figures were Zhang Yu with 11 points and Tangela Smith with 10 points. Smith is a center for the Phoenix Mercury and long time international player, and she picked up seven rebounds for Liaoning.

If there's a pic, I'll find it. Don't get your hopes up.

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