Saturday, January 24, 2009
At times, I'm sure it must have seemed a race to the bottom. Estudiantes (4-12) was in 11th place, and Extrugasa (2-13) was in dead last. It seems that Extrugasa is winning the battle of the worsts, as they lose 64-48 at home to one of the worst teams in the Liga Feminina.
The box score is here.
Extrugasa failed to get off the blocks and only scored nine points in the first quarter - but Estudiantes didn't do much better, only scoring 12 points. Estudiantes would score 24 points in the second quarter to help take a 36-28 lead into halftime.
However, Estudiantes was held to nine points in the third quarter. Killer defensive effort from Extrugasa, right? No. Extrugasa only scored five points in the third quarter, and managed to fall behind further - Estudiantes would win every quarter of the game.
So where do we find the greatest fault in what must have been a bevy of them? Estudiantes scored 44 percent from the field with Extrugasa only hitting 35 percent of its free throws. Both teams had the exact same number of rebounds, so intensity under the glass wasn't a factor. Estudiantes did a great job of protecting the ball, turning the ball over only 11 times, and at the free throw line they were golden, hitting 13 of 15.
For Extrugasa, the best effort was probably from Taru Tuukkanen, an Extrugasa veteran who scored nine points and seven rebounds. Elisha Turek, a graduate of Oral Roberts University in 2007, scored seven points and five rebounds. Fellow Brasilian Katia Da Silva scored four points.
The only player to score in double digits was Iziane Castro Marques, with 10 points. But she had five turnovers and only shot 31 percent from the field, shooting 4-for-13 (the most shots taken by any player on Extrugasa). She also had four fouls and probably hurt Extrugasa more than helping it.
The visitors were led by Elin Eldebrink of Sweden, who scored 15 points. Laura Herrera would add 14 points and Sandra Ygueravide scored 13 points. Brooke Wykcoff of the Chicago Sky and Leah Rush of Oklahoma University and (briefly) the Chicago Sky, added seven and four points respectively.
Extrugasa is willing to spend the money, it seems, to avoid relegation. But can they save the morale of the team and their fans?