|Tina Charles was her usual self, leading Dynamo Moscow to victory|
Reigning champions Dynamo Moscow started the defence of their EuroCup Women title in style with a convincing first night success.
The Russian powerhouse opened the new campaign by cruising to an 84-54 Group D victory against Olimpia Grodno of Belarus as Tina Charles made her debut with a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds. She was well supported by Tatiana Vidmer as the home side dominant in the paint and controlled the contest throughout, despite the best efforts of Lyubov Alyoshkina who had 12 boards and nine points for the losing team.
Back after a four year hiatus, Romanian club ACS Sepsi suffered home floor heartache as they went down 93-88 against Tarsus Belediye SK in a Group C shootout. The visitors were in scintillating form from downtown and shot 62.5% in a perimter bombardment and found the extra composure in the last ive minutes of a game that had been locked up at 78-78 heading into crunch time. The exprienced players got the job done for the Turkish side with Doneeka Hodges, Delisha Milton-Jones and Renee Montgomery all claiming in excess of 20 points. The loss was tough to take for Samantha Prahalis who poured in an astonishing 38 points for the disappointed hosts.
Despite being without Latvian center Anita Teilane who has been ruled out for the season with an ACL injury, TSV Wasserburg opened their Group E account with a 79-73 road success at Lotto Young Cats. It was a big last quarter which did the trick, as well as 21 points from Finland national team forward Tiina Sten who fired three triples. Jasmina Rosseel replied with 20 points for the Belgian club.
Basket Landes have had an eye-catching start to their domestic season and were again on the front foot in their Group E opener with Aluinvent Miskolc as they rode to a comfortable 90-71 victory. They always looked the likely winners and really stepped on the gas in the second half, with a big 29-15 last quarter sealing the deal.
Carmen Guzman and Kamila Stepanova enjoyed exceptional shooting nights to combine for 41 points and highly rated youngster Olivia Epoupa was equally impressive with a perfect shooting night for 10 points to go with a sparkling six assists and four steals. Brittainy Raven top scored for Miskolc with 15 points.
|Emma Meesseman had a solid start with Villeneuve, contributing 8 points and 8 rebounds|
There was a French win double in Group F as Villeneuve D'Ascq made the short hop over the border into Belgium to face Namur and continued their impressive start to the season by coming away with a 67-60 win. Olayinka Sanni was the hero with 15 points and 13 rebounds, with Julie Wojta landing a double-double for Namur.
Meanwhile Nantes Reze put their troubled domestic form aside to collect a much needed 69-64 victory against PEAC-Pécs who stepped out in EuroCup Women for the first time in their history. Nantes were far from convincing but held their nerve from the free-throw line to hang on for the win and had Marielle Amant to thank for a brilliant 20 points and 14 rebounds. Latoya Williams did her best to lift the away side to a first ever success in the competition but her 27 points weren't quite enough.
In Group G, tournament debutantes Wallonia Basket entertained MBK Ruzomberok who made it to the semi-finals of the competition last season and the home side pulled off a fabulous and historic 76-67 win. Celeste Trahan was the toast of the home locker room with a game-winning 23 points and 11 rebounds. Stefanie Murphy racked up 21 points and nine rebounds but she couldn't prevent her team sliding to defeat.
The other game in the group witnessed French side Tarbes GB host another first time entrant in Pinkk Pécsi 424 and the Hungarian visitors were overwhelmed 71-48 despite 14 points and 10 boards from Louella Tomlinson.
A combined 35 points from Serbian forward Jovana Rad and Katelan Redmon were key for Tarbes as they eased their way to a first night victory.