Ros Casares are one victory away from their first ever EuroLeague Women title.
The Spanish outfit, behind the frontline of Erika De Souza and DeLisha Milton-Jones and a poor offensive attack by Bourges in the fourth quarter allowed the Spanish team to win the second semi-final 73-59 in Vidnoje, Russia.
Brazilian international Erika, who entered play averaging 7.3 points 3.7 rebounds per game, chose the opportune time to have her best game of the season.
She scored 19 points to go along with 15 rebounds, while Milton-Jones, the EuroLeague Women season leader in both scoring and rebounding, scored 20 and collected 11 rebounds.
“I think she is an undiscovered talent in Europe,” said Ros Casares’ Allison Feaster-Strong of Erika.
|DeLisha Milton-Jones scored 20 points.|
“She is a big body and today she put the ball in the basket.”
But it was Bourges’ struggles on offense, particularly in the fourth quarter, that ultimately put the Valencia team in the first final.
Ros Casares, who trailed by as many as 10 in the first half, led 57-53 going into the fourth quarter.
From there, Milton-Jones and Co would only allow Bourges to score six points.
Bourges made just two field goals on 15 attempts, while Milton-Jones and Aguilar delivered in the final stanza.
Bourges were still lingering around in the final minutes of the game, but a pair of Elisa Aguilar three-pointers gave Ros Casares an insurmountable 13-point lead.
Milton-Jones added six points in the final 10 minutes.
“This win means so much to this club,” said Feaster-Strong.
“The club put so much investment into the team. I don’t think they expected the club to be in a final so soon. This is a new venture and we are confident that we can win.”
“I think we did a good job of playing as a team,” said Aguilar.
As for Ros Casares’ upcoming clash against Spartak Moscow Region, Aguilar said: “We are going to do everything possible to make the dream come true.”
Another critical point to the game was Ros Casares 47-25 rebounding edge.
“Every rebound and loose ball went on their side,” said Bourges’ Sonja Kireta, who finished with a team-high 12 points.
“We are an inexperienced team and I think today that showed.”