USVO Earn Vital Win In Russia

17 January 2007

US Valenciennes sealed their place in the next round after a 73-67 upset of UMMC Ekaterinburg in Russia.

One of the true giants in the French game and European basketball, USVO reached last year's Final Four but they entered the contest with just two victories from nine EuroLeague Women games this season.

As a result of this evening's victory, USVO clinched fifth place in Group C to assure them of qualification to the second round.

Audrey Sauret Gillespie (UMMC Ekaterinburg)
Audrey Sauret Gillespie led UMMC with 20 points.
After a tight match, USVO used a 15-5 run early in the final quarter to take control of the game with a 67-56 lead.

Vedrana Grgin Fonseca provided the spark with a jump-shot and a three-pointer, but it was Australia's world champion Kristi Harrower who did the damage with nine of the points.

She would finish with a team-high 20 , while Sandrine Gruda collected 13 points and eight rebounds.

USVO's lead was stretched to 12 points, 71-59, when Harrower made a tap-in with three minutes left, but UMMC then rallied as French international Audrey Sauret Gillespie made a pair of three-pointers in a 8-0 run that got them back within four with 37 seconds left.

Fonseca gave the hosts hope when she missed a pair of free throws for USVO, but moments later Emilie Gomis made no mistake from the charity stripe to seal the win.

Former USVO player Sauret Gillespie had 20 points for UMMC while Suzy Batkovic added 18.

Ekaterinburg's Cheryl Ford grabbed a game-high 16 rebounds to go with her 10 points.

It has been a great day for USVO and particularly Gruda, who was named the FIBA Europe Young Women Player of the Year on Wednesday.

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