Wednesday, December 17, 2008
Sandrine Gruda, busy NOT playing for France.
Union Hainaut (3-7) needed to have to things happen in order to advance to the second round of Euroleague. They'd have to beat Group C leader Ekaterinburg (9-1) on the final game of first round play...in Russia. Second, Prague would have to lose its game to Gdynia.
Not only did Prague beat Gdynia, but Ekaterinburg delivered an 85-56 whipping of Hainaut that will leave Union Hainaut fans numb.
The writeup of the game is here. The box score is here.
The game report pretty much says it all. Ekaterinburg trailed 2-1 in the first quarter. Then, Ekaterinburg would score seventeen straight points to go up 18-1 in the first. Union Hainaut was held to four first quarter points. The first quarter finished 26-4.
At halftime, it was 55-12. That's right, Union Hainaut scored 12 points in 20 minutes of play. That's when you pull out the Sudoku if you're on the Ekaterinburg bench.
Ekaterinburg shot 55 percent from the field compared to Union Hainaut's 35 percent. Ekaterinburg made more 2-point baskets that Union Hainaut made in 2-point and 3-point buckets combined. Ekaterinburg made more rebounds and forced Union Hainaut to cough up the ball 22 times. Union Hainaut also sent Ekaterinburg to the free throw line 23 times.
Oddly enough, it wasn't one of the American players doing the heavy lifting for Ekaterinburg. The best performance was probably from Sandrine Gruda (Connecticut Sun), who scored 15 points and had five rebounds. To have Gruda on a Russian team instead of a French team must be making someone in the French basketball hierarchy very unhappy. Maria Stepanova (Phoenix Suns, 2005) would score 11 points and seven rebounds.
The minutes were fairly evenly spread around, with no player playing more than 27 minutes on Ekaterinburg. Deanna Nolan (Detroit Shock) scored seven points. Yelena Leuchanka (Washington Mystics 2007, possibly Atlanta Dream 2009) scored six points and five rebounds. Cappie Pondexter (Phoenix Mercury) scored five points. Svetlana Abrosimova (Connecticut Sun) scored 11 points and five assists. If you had WNBA pedigree, it was a good day.
Only one player for Hainaut would score in double figures - oddly enough, Hainaut's player of the game was Chioma Nnamaka with 11 points and four rebounds. Melanie Plust would score nine points for Union Hainaut. Bernadette Ngoyisa would score four points in 23 minuts and Tiffany Stansbury would score two points in 18 minutes.
There are pictures from this game, but they're at work, so I can't post them. Definitely will post later.