US Valenciennes Olympic consolidated their position at the top of Group C in the EuroLeague Women with a comprehensive demolition of Dynamo Moscow on Wednesday.
Both teams had entered the contest in the Russian capital with 4-1 records but it was pretty much one-way traffic after tip-off with US Valenciennes Olympic storming to a 80-56 victory.
Dynamo were missing the injured Natalia Vodopiyanova after she broke her leg in training, but finally welcomed Diana Taurasi to Moscow for her first EuroLeague Women game of the season.
Taurasi, a gold medal winner with the USA at the Athens Olympics as well as a three-time NCAA champion with Conneticut and number one WNBA draft pick in 2004, was unable to impress in her European debut. The 182 cm played just 9 minutes and scored 6 points on 2 of 5 shooting.
|Slobodanka Tuvic is helping to lead a USVO resurgence in 2005 |
Dynamo kept pace with their visitors early on and actually led 12-10 midway through the first period following a pair of free throws by Tamara Sutton-Brown.
But a jump shot by Sonja Kireta brought the teams level soon after and Dynamo's lead had gone for good.
With Croatian center Kireta pacing her side's offence early on, USVO eased out to a 26-16 advantage by the end of the opening period.
The second quarter saw the French side produce a masterclass under both baskets, going on a 14-0 run as they extended their lead to 44-22 by the halfway point.
The last two periods merely enforced USVO's dominance, with Dynamo finding Slobodanka Tuvic and Sandra Le Drean too tough to handle.
Tuvic finished as both the game's leading scorer (18) and leading rebounder (nine), while Le Drean weighed in with 17 points, five rebounds and seven assists.
Tatiana Shchegoleva was Dynamo's chief source of points with 15 while her fellow center Sutton-Brown, who was back in the side after returning from Canada following a family illness, contributed 11 points and seven rebounds.
The victory saw USVO, EuroLeague winners in 2002 and 2004, bounce back from last week's 79-75 defeat to Lietuvos Telekomas Vilnius - the French club's first loss of the group stages.