Spartak Dominate USVO

23.01.2008

Spartak Moscow Region thrashed US Valenciennes 96-62 in Vidnoje on Wednesday.

The defending champions, winning for the ninth time in 10 Group C games, did not blow the game wide open until the second half, but Spartak provided enough evidence to suggest they could be the team to beat again this year.

Australia international Lauren Jackson paced Spartak with 31 points and six rebounds and her good friend Sue Bird buried three of four shots from behind the arc on her way to scoring 16.

Another of the Spartak superstars, Diana Taurasi, finished with 15 points.

As for USVO, the defeat has left them needing Kosit 2013 to lose their final game against Lotos PKO BP.

If the Slovakian team were to win, it would leapfrog Valenciennes into fourth place because of a superior goal differential in the games the two sides played against each other.

Only the top four progress to the eighth-final play-offs.

USVO put up a good fight for 20 minutes and went to the changing rooms at half-time trailing just 39-36.

Spartak hit their stride on both offense and defense when play resumed, outscoring the visitors 31-8 over the next 10 minutes to take control for good.

The home side out-rebounded USVO 39-28, and they were a very efficient 17 of 19 at the free throw line.

Natalia Hejkova's team also shot the ball well both inside and outside the arc.

From two-point range, they made 26 of 46 shots while on three-ball attempts they made nine of 23.

Emilie Gomis, the exciting France national team guard, led three USVO scorers in double figures with 15 points.


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