USVO Hard On Phard

07 December 2005

US Valenciennes Olympic outclassed Phard Napoli 85-55 on Wednesday to move into sole possession of first place in Euroleague Women Group C at least for 24 hours.

The victory, USVO's sixth in seven games, gives them one more triumph than Lietuvos Telekomas Vilnius, the only side to beat them in the competition so far.

Lietuvos Telekomas Vilnius can rejoin them on six wins when they host Dynamo Moscow on Thursday.

As for Phard, the set-back leaves them with a 3-4 record.

Sandrine Gruda had 17 points, Australian international Kristi Harrower 16 and Sonja Kireta 14 as the French hit their Italian opponents with a balanced scoring attack.

Kireta's lay-up with two minutes and 16 seconds to play in the first quarter capped an 8-0 surge for USVO and gave them an 18-10 advantage.

Phard's Paola Mauriello made two free throws and Mery Andrade followed with a jump shot to close the gap to 18-14, but that was merely a stay of execution.

USVO stretched their advantage in the second quarter, with their  biggest surge coming at the end of the half when they scored nine of the last 11 points, capped by Sandra Le Drean's lay-up, for a 44-28 lead.

Le Drean continued the run in the second half by burying a jumper and then Harrower added a pair of free throws to take the lead to 20 at 48-28.

Le Drean finished off the run with another lay-up for a 22-point lead and USVO held a firm grip on the game the rest of the way.

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