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SISU, SKW Looking To Finish On A High

07.12.2011
EUROCUP WOMEN
13. Stephanie Madden (SISU)
Stephanie Madden will lead SISU into their last EuroCup Women game of the season against BBC SKW

Group E of the regular season of the EuroCup Women 2011/2012 basically is divided in two divisions.

One division includes the very strong teams Chevakata from Russia and Arras from France, which are battling it out for the top spot in the Group, completely certain that they will advance to the playoffs.

Both teams reached the semi-finals last season and have a chance of winning it all this season.

The other division includes SISU and Sint-Katelijne-Waver, which regularly face tough 30-point-plus losses to Arras and Chevakata and have only two real chances of victory: when they play each other.

Both teams do well on their home turf. Sint-Katelijne currently have a 6-2 record in Belgium and are number 4 of 12 teams, and SISU are undefeated in the Danish Dameligaen.

The teams met in Belgium on November 17, and the home team managed to squeeze out a two-point victory, 63-61, after a very close and exciting game in which the guests from Denmark turned a bad start into a four-point lead halfway through the fourth period.

But the Belgian side prevailed, led by point guard Miete Celus' strong performance with 20 points and 7 rebounds. Ilse Van den Vonder also had a big game, with 13 points and 8 rebounds.

SISU's best players that evening were Stephanie Madden, delivering 21 points and 9 rebounds, and Julie Kongeskov, who came from the bench to lead SISU's late charge in the game, scoring 10 big points.

The teams are now ready for the final showdown: the fight for third place in Group E, looking to avoid the last spot in the group.

Both teams like to play an up-tempo basketball, and it will therefore be fun to watch, just as the first game was. Further, both teams have many players who are capable of scoring, so the defenses will have to be ready.

In the first game, Sint-Katelijne won the rebounding battle 42-25, and the Danes certainly aim to do something about that on Thursday.

When asked about the importance of the game, SISU's Head Coach Hrannar Holm said: "This game is simply huge for us. We knew all along that we were not going to win many games in this tough EuroCup group.

"We are here to learn and gain experience. But apart from that, our secret goal has always been to win one EuroCup game this year. We were very close last time, in Belgium, and I think that we have a fair chance this time.

"Of course we will need to be much more aggressive and quicker than we were in our last game against Arras, but if we show up motivated and ready to fight, I believe that we have a good chance this time.

"On the other hand, our opponents clearly also view this game as a game that they can win, and they are coming to Denmark to take home a victory, no doubt about that. In my mind we continually improved throughout the EuroCup competition, until last week, when we fell into a hole.

"I strongly believe that we have crawled out of that hole and that we are ready for the best performance of the year in our single most important game of 2011."

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