Wednesday, January 14, 2009

WCBA Semifinals 1/2008 - Liaoning 81, Beijing 74

Liaoning needed to win two of three games against Beijing to go to the finals, but would have to travel to Beijing for the first game. They overcame that first obstacle by winning 81-74 on the road. Beijing will now have to win on Saturday and on Sunday in order to advance to the WCBA finals - one loss and Beijing is done for the season.

The translated boxscore is here.

Beijing had two problems. First, Beijing's main scorer Zhang Wei wasn't allowed to play - because she was leased (like a soccer player) at the beginning of the year from the Liaoning team. Second, Beijing was dominated in the paint due to Tangela Smith having a massive game. Beijing was able to keep up, behind 20-18 after the first quarter and 36-33 at haltime. Liaoning then turned on the full court press and Beijing began to fade away. They were down by eight (59-51) at the end of three quarters and never got an offensive rhythm.

Liaoning outshot Beijing 58 percent to 43 percent, but Liaoning took fewer shots - part of the disparity comes from Beijing's 5-for-18 performance at the boards. Liaoning only got four offensive rebounds compared to Beijing's 11 offensive rebounds. Furthermore, Liaoning turned the ball over more. Unfortunately for Beijing, they sent Liaoning to the free throw line 20 times and Liaoning hit 16 shots.

Zhang Fan led all Beijing players with 25 points, six assists and five rebounds. Sun Yu scored 12 points and 18 rebounds for Beijing. Two other players would score in double digits for Beijing, including Jennifer Lacy, who scored 10 points but only had two rebounds for Beijing.

Leading Liaoning - and dominating the game - was Tangela Smith with 27 points and 13 rebounds. She shot 12-for-15 in the game. Ma Zengyu scored 19 points in the game, and "Yang half with" scored 13 points and four rebounds.

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