Bourges Beat BLMA In French Showdown

04.05.2012

DOMESTIC LEAGUES

14. Emmeline Ndongue (Bourges Basket)
Bourges center Emmeline Ndongue described the intense French play-off finals as a 'battle' 

Bourges captured their fifth French domestic league title in the last seven years by completing a 2-0 sweep of Lattes Montpellier on Thursday evening.

Led by coach Valérie Garnier for the first time this season, the defending champions followed up their 53-45 victory on the road with a 59-47 home triumph over Montpellier.

The club has now won 11 French league titles.

In a battle between two sides that competed in this season's EuroLeague Women, Montpellier's attack was stifled by a Bourges defense that forced 18 turnovers.

A Montpellier team that averaged almost 75 points during the season, Valery Demory's squad was nowhere near that number in the play-off finals.

"It was difficult," Bourges' France center Emmeline Ndongue said.

"There were some blows.

"It was a battle, but I'm proud tonight because we defended like crazy."

Hurt while playing at last year's EuroBasket in Poland, Ndongue missed the beginning of the season but is now getting back to her best.

She had a game-high 16 points and also grabbed nine rebounds, handed out four assists and swatted four shots.

Ndongue will play at the Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Ankara, Turkey, for Les Bleues, which tips off on 25 June.

There is a very important game to play before that, however.

Ndongue and Bourges will take on Arras in the Coupe de France final on 13 May.

Bourges will be big favorites against Arras, a club that reached the EuroCup Women finals last year but finished 11th in the LFB regular season standings with just 10 victories and 16 defeats.

"We'll really savour this but also, we have another title to win in two weeks," Ndongue said.

The play-off finals didn't go as Montpellier had planned, and especially LFB player of the year, Edwige Lawson-Wade.

The France international, held to eight points and three assists, suggested the games had been too physical.

"It was more like boxing than basketball," she said.

Bourges won despite making just 25 of 62 shots (40%) from the floor, including four of 13 (31%) from long range.

Catherine Joens, Bourges' reliable sharpshooter, drilled three of eight three-balls and scored 11 points.

Endene Miyem topped the rebounding charts with 12 for Bourges, who won the battle of the boards 38-30.


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