Talk about a clutch performance.
Tina Thompson’s brilliant Final Four display not only allowed her to become a European champion for the first time.
She also was able to earn MVP honours and the EuroLeague Women scoring title, edging out her teammate with the United States’ national team, DeLisha Milton-Jones.
Entering Final Four play, Thompson was averaging 20.5 ppg, a shade behind leader Milton-Jones, the Ros Casares star who came in at 20.9 ppg.
|DeLisha Milton finished the season averaging 20.8 ppg.|
After Thompson’s 26 and Milton-Jones’ 20 on Friday evening, Thompson moved ahead by 0.1 (20.9 to 20.8).
In the final, Thompson scored 24, while Milton-Jones posted 21. As a result, Thompson finished the season averaging 21.1 ppg, while Milton-Jones tallied 20.8.
“I don’t go out and check the stat sheet after every game,” said Thompson.
“It is an accolade and I guess it shows that I have worked hard, but the most important thing for us is that we won the game.”
“She can do whatever she wants on the basketball court,” said Milton-Jones.
“I just try to make it difficult for her. But tonight she was on fire. I am proud to represent my country with her.”
The love between the two Team USA teammates was not always evident on the court as they battled it out for their respective clubs.
Milton-Jones picked up her fifth foul with a hard blow to the face of Thompson in the fourth quarter.
“I have this move where I always try to slap up at the ball and knock it away,” explained Milton-Jones.
“She just moved the ball away and unfortunately I hit her in the face. But she knows how I play and that there was nothing intentional about it.”
Thompson may have come up a little woozy from the blow to the face.
But she also etched her name as a European champion, MVP and scoring title holder.