Spartak Crush Kosice, Solidify Top Spot
As each week passes in the EuroLeague Women, Spartak Moscow Region look more and more like the team to beat. With a glittering array of talent in the roster again, that comes as no surprise to anyone.
The two-time defending champions brushed aside Maxima Broker Kosice 100-50 on Wednesday in Vidnoje for their eighth win in nine games in Group D.
Lauren Jackson made all four of her shots from behind the arc on the way to a game-high 23 points.
The game had an ominous start for Broker Kosice.
USA Olympic gold medal winner Sylvia Fowles scored Spartak's first six points inside.
After a Sidney Spencer three-point play trimmed the deficit to 6-4, Australia superstar Jackson connected on her first shot from long range.
Kosice tried to stay close but by the end of the opening quarter they found themselves trailing 29-12.
Jackson had poured in seven of those points, Taurasi five and Bird four while also dishing out four assists.
Taurasi caught a pass from Bird at the start of the second quarter and made her second three-pointer for a 32-12 advantage.
Broker Kosice failed to score until 6:21 remained in the frame and by that time, Spartak had a 42-14 stranglehold on the contest.
By half-time, the lead had ballooned to 60-24 and the Russian giants cruised the rest of the way.
"There was nothing we could do. They were just too much [for us], admitted Stefan Svitek, the Maxima Broker Kosice.
Spartak hit 14 of 24 from long range. Kelly Miller was a perfect three of three from the arc and finished with 11 points, six assists, six rebounds and two steals.
Bird had 12 points and finished an assist shy of a double-double while Taurasi scored 15 and grabbed six boards.
Broker Kosice played again without Germany international Linda Frohlich because of an issue being dealt with by the antidoping commission.
The last time she did compete in the EuroLeague Women was on November 19 at home to Lattes Montpellier and in that game she had 28 points and 14 rebounds.
Cathrine Kraayeveld led Kosice against Spartak with 22 points.
Spartak won the rebounding battle 40-20.