Wednesday, December 10, 2008
Vanessa Hayden-Johnson is a big girl.
Since being mathematically eliminated from second-round competition, Villeneuve d'Ascq (3-6) had nothing to play for but pride. So they traveled to Venezia (7-2), the top team in Group B, and handed them a 76-70 upset in front of 500 spectators.
The game report is here. The boxscore is here.
This had to be an extremely close game. Get this: the final three quarters were tied. For the second, third, and fourth quarters each team scored 19 points, leaving Villeneuve d'Ascq to carry a 19-13 lead in the first quarter to the end of each of the subsequent quarters.
Villeneuve d'Ascq took a 38-32 lead into halftime. A Jolene Anderson 3-pointer in the third quarter stretched the lead to 11 points with 3:05 remaining in the third, 52-43. Venezia fought back, but couldn't close the gap entire. The home team closed the gap to four points, 68-64, with 1:37 left in the game when Jenifer Nadalin scored on her own offensive rebound. However, Villeneuve d'Ascq would hang on for the win.
Villeneuve d'Ascq shot 49 percent from the field, compared to 46 percent by Venezia. Both teams scored the exact same number of rebounds and scored similarly well at the free throw line, but Venezia would turn the ball over 23 times.
Simona Ballardini would lead all Venezia scorers with 16 points and six rebounds. Daliborka Jokic scored 15 points and Mariangela Cirone scored 10 points for Venezia. Vanessa Hayden-Johnson would score five points and three rebounds in 17 minutes of play, picking up five fouls along the way. Hayden Johnson was a reserve center for the Lynx in 2008.
Iziane Castro Marques would lead Villeneuve d'Ascq to victory, scoring 25 points with 27 shots. Ljubica Drljaca scored 14 points and five rebounds, and Geraldine Robert added 12 points. Jolene Anderson would score nine points.
There is a mini-gallery of pictures at the Euroleague site, and I'll look at the Villeneuve d'Ascq website for more.