D As In Dominant: Spartak Advance


Spartak Moscow Region stayed on course for a fourth consecutive EuroLeague Women title after another incredible performance by Diana Taurasi.

The USA superstar, and the MVP of last year's Final Four win in Salamanca, buried eight three-balls and finished with a game-high 37 points as Spartak won 87-79 (watch highlight video).

The triumph was a third straight in the EuroLeague Women Semi-Finals for Spartak over UMMC.

13. Candace Parker (UMMC Ekaterinburg)
Candace Parker's great game was overshadowed by American rival Diana Taurasi.
Gundars Vetra's team led 43-40 at half-time after a three-pointer at the buzzer by Cappie Pondexter and Candace Parker's three-point play at the end of the third put UMMC in front at 67-63.

Ekaterinburg had great balance to their game on offense, and terrific defense, particular from France internationals Celine Dumerc and Sandrine Gruda.

Dumerc blanketed Spartak's Sue Bird for much of the game and ended up with three steals.

Gruda, the FIBA Europe Women's Player of the Year, had two steals, two blocks and 11 rebounds.

Parker came off the bench and led UMMC with 18 points but thanks to Taurasi's 33 points, Spartak stayed in the game for three quarters.

UMMC led 69-65 early in the fourth after two Ann Wauters free-throws and their last lead came at 71-69 after a Parker bucket with 5:10 to go.

Vetra's team failed to score for more than four and a half minutes and Spartak took control.

A Taurasi lay-up knotted the game at 71-71 with 3:27 to go and a Janel McCarville basket with 2:00 remaining put the defending champions in front stay.

UMMC's hopes took a fatal hit when Agnieszka Bibrzycka was called for an unsportsmanlike foul on Sylvia Fowles with 1:16 remaining.

The American made a lay-up on the play and then sank the free-throw to extend the lead to 76-71.

Ekaterinburg fouled their opponents down the stretch but Spartak made most of them and held on for the win.

They will now take on the winner of the second Semi-Final between Wisla Can-Pack Krakow and Final Four hosts Ros Casares.

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