BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Maria Stepanova is back for UMMC Ekaterinburg after her ACL injury in March|
UMMC Ekaterinburg improved to 8-0 in the Russian League, whilst the line-up for the Spanish Cup, the Copa De La Reina is now known.
Legendary Russian star Maria Stepanova made her long awaited return from injury over the weekend.
Having sustained an ACL injury during the EuroLeague Women Final Eight in Istanbul back in March of this year, 33-year old Stepanova finally completed her comeback when she stepped out for UMMC Ekaterinburg in a comfortable 84-64 Russian League win against Nadezhda.
Also in Russia, Sparta&K M.R. Vidnoje were routed 76-55 at Dynamo Kursk, thanks mainly to a double-double of 18 points and 12 rebounds from Ekaterina Lisina.
It was the third loss of the campaign for Sparta&K, who now share third place with Nadezhda at 5-3, while Dynamo Kursk are in second spot and UMMC remain unbeaten at the top.
Round 10 of the Liga Femenina in Spain brought confirmation of who will fight it out at the Copa De La Reina later in the season.
With leaders Rivas Ecopolis already assured of their place before their weekend off, they will be joined by Uni Spar Girona, Pefumerias Avenida and Tintos de Torro Caja Rural Zamora, who snatched fourth place in the standings to punch their ticket.
|Erupted for impressive 28 points along with 9 rebounds and 6 assists: Landes' Olivia Epoupa |
There was a shock in the French League, when rock bottom Hainaut Basket, with just one win all season, finally turned up in a big way to hurt the title hopes of Bourges Basket.
Hainaut's six player rotation was enough to take down their EuroLeague Women opponents by 71-64, even though they were panned on the glass. Stefanie Murphy, Amanda Jackson and Laura Garcia combined for 60 points.
It was a good week for Arras Pays d'Artois too, who finally picked up their third win of the campaign to move to third from bottom after their 71-61 win against Villeneuve d'Ascq.
After the slip-up by Bourges, leaders Basket Lattes Montpellier Agglomeration and third placed Perpignan took full advantage with the former taking a 77-70 road win at Aix-en-Provence courtesy of 20 points and 10 rebounds by Geraldine Robert, and the latter defeating EuroLeague Women opposition by securing a 66-55 win against USO Mondeville.
The most impressive individual performance came from U18 European Championship Women MVP Olivia Epoupa (vote for her as Young Women's Player of the Year). The teenager produced the best display of her pro-career to help a rejuvenated Basket Landes claim a thrilling 63-60 win at Toulouse and move to fourth place with an 8-5 record. Epoupa exploded to corral 28 points, nine rebounds and six assists.
Kayseri Kaski spor lost ground in the Turkish title race after being routed 98-62 by leaders Fenerbahce. Both Anastasiya Verameyenka (vote for her as Women's Player of the Year) and Ivana Matovic continue to excel this season, and they combined for 40 points from a superb 16 of 20 floor shooting.
The result means the table now has a more familiar feel to it with Galatasaray taking over second spot from Kayseri and chasing down their great city rival after their defensive brick wall helped them to an 81-48 destruction of Mersin.
Tarsus are in fourth spot after they needed overtime to finally see off Ceyhan Belediye 73-70 with Danielle Robinson and Shay Doron pouring in a combined 43 points.
Whilst at the bottom of the table, a stellar 31 point performance by Serbian guard Ana Dabovic helped to take TED Ankara to only their second victory of the season as they overpowered fellow strugglers Samsun 83-65.