USVO Edged Out By CSKA Volgaburmash


US Valenciennes put up a brave fight but finally succombed to CSKA Volgaburmash who advanced to the quarter-finals of the EuroLeague Women.

Trying to reach the title game for the third straight year, the Russian giants had to fight every inch of the way but finally saw off their hosts, 76-70, to sweep the eighth-finals play-off series 2-0.

Amaya Valdemoro (CSKA Volgaburmash)
Amaya Valdemoro had 17 points for CSKA
Valenciennes' play in the post-season belied their group record when they won just three of 10 games.

After battling hard for three quarters in the opening contest before losing 85-75, USVO led in this contest until late in the third period and despite falling behind at that stage, still managed to keep the game close until the end.

The home fans rose to their feet when a three-point play by Krissy Bade with 3:35 remaining trimmed CKSA's lead to 66-65.

The French club then had a chance to move back in front after Amaya
Valdemoro missed a jump shot.

Vedrana Grgin Fonseca was off target with a three-pointer, though, and Maria Stepanova grabbed the board and shortly after fed Ann Wauters who scored to stretch the advantage to three.

The next time down the floor, USVO got the ball into the hands of their FIBA World Champion from Australia, Kristi Harrower, and she missed.

This time Stepanova, recently voted FIBA Europe's Women's Player of the Year for the second consecutive time, scored to take her points tally to 15 on the night.

Desperate for points, USVO had to work hard just to get a shot off and when Harrower launched another three-ball attempt, she missed again and CSKA hauled in the rebound.

USVO weren't done, however.

Harrower made for an interesting last 45 seconds when she was fouled while making a jumper and converted the chance to close the gap to 71 68.

USVO struggled all night shooting the ball from long range.

After Edwige Lawson split two free throws for the visitors, Fonseca missed another three - she was zero for five on the night - as Valenciennes' EuroLeague dreams died.

Valdemoro had 17 points to lead CSKA, and Wauters poured in 13 while also coming up with six steals.

For Valenciennes, their incredible talent Sandrine Gruda, the FIBA Europe Young Women's Player of the Year, had a game-high 23 points.

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