Saturday, February 21, 2009
Hugz for Delisha and Erika! (Note Coach Rátgéber on his knees in dismay.)
With Ros Casares having lost the first game, it was do-or-die for the Spainiards. They had one home game in this best-of-three series, and their goal was to set an attendance record for this game. They made it with an amazing 6,616 spectators - the most that have ever seen a Euroleague game - and the home floor advantage was just too much for visiting Spartak as Ros Casares sealed the deal at the last second by a 73-71 score.
The box score is here. Accessing this page should bring you to the game report, play-by-play, and a nice gallery.
With the home crowd behind them, El Ros jumped out to a 27-15 first quarter lead, and led by sixteen points at halftime, 49-33. Spartak's all-star team could only close the gap by one in the third quarter, and Ros Casares looked well in control, 65-50, going into the fourth quarter.
It was then Spartak's time to shine. They started the fourth-quarter with an 11-0 run, cutting Ros Casares's lead to just four points with slightly under six minutes to go. Ros Casares was held to just eight fourth-quarter points as Lauren Jackson's jump shot tied the game at 67-67 with 2:52 to go.
With the game still tied at 69-69 with 2:07 left, Kelly Miller of Spartak fouled Amaya Valdemoro with 1:22 left. Valdemoro hit both of her free throws, and when Valdemoro blocked a Diana Taurasi jump shot, El Ros was able to get the ball back into Valdeomoro's hands for a jump shot to bring the lead to 73-69.
With 32 seconds left, Laia Palau fouled Diana Taurasi, who made both of her free throws. With just six seconds left, Valdemoro missed a jump shot putting the ball into Sue Bird's hands with the score 73-71. But Bird turned the ball over at the last second when Laia Palau stole the ball, and Ros Casares kept their amazing two point win to stay alive in Euroleague.
Both teams shot under 40 percent - Spartak shot 39 percent from the field, and Ros Casares shot 37 percent. Ros Casares had a slight edge in offensive rebounding, and Spartak had a slight edge in overall rebounding. It was Spartak's 21 turnovers that kept Ros Casares in the game, and in a physical game by both teams, Ros Casares would make 18 of 22 shots at the free throw line, with Spartak making 24 of 31.
American/WNBA Players in Bold Face
Delisha Milton-Jones: 16 points, 8 rebounds. Five personal fouls, though.
Amaya Valdemoro: 21 points, and 9-10 from the free throw line.
Erika de Souza: 11 points and 6 rebounds for the forward/center from the Atlanta Dream.
Candace Wiggins: 3 points, 2 rebounds in 10 minutes of play.
Diana Taurasi: 33 points and 4 rebounds, but 7 turnovers.
Sylvia Fowles: 14 points and 11 rebounds, the game's only double-double.
Lauren Jackson: 10 points and 7 rebounds.
Sue Bird: 8 points, 5 rebounds, 4 assists.
Kelly Miller: No points, but 6 rebounds in 25 minutes of play.
(Shout out to RebKell and Kevin Pelton of StormTracker for their great articles.)