Game Of The Week: BLMA v Fenerbahce

03 December 2013

EUROLEAGUE WOMEN

EuroLeague Women Game of the Week: BLMA vs. Fenerbahce
Can Fenerbahce keep their unbeaten record against French teams that spans almost six years, alive?

Fenerbahce are travelling to Lattes Montpellier, looking to further extend a near-six year EuroLeague Women winning streak against French clubs.

Fenerbahce have racked up a commanding eleven straight wins since being beaten by Tango Bourges way back at the start of 2008.

Lattes Montpellier will rely heavily on the experience of Geraldine Robert to try and break the pattern, with the power forward acutely aware that her team is about to face their stiffest test so far in Group B.

She said, "We had a good start by winning two games and only losing once, so I think we are in a good position right now.

"This next game against Fenerbahce will be the most challenging so far.

"It will be a pretty tough and interesting game, since they have a lot of talented and experienced players.

"But, we're confident and doing pretty good in our own league too and we have just lost the one game and already qualified for the quarter-finals of the [French] Cup."

Form Guide: BLMA opened their season in EuroLeague Women with a hard-fought but precious road win at Nadezhda Orenburg and followed it up with a home win against Rivas Ecopolis. They lost last week in a tight game at BK Imos Brno. They have been flying domestically and are part of an exciting three-horse race right now at the top of the French League with a 9-1 record. Fenerbahce are unbeaten in EuroLeague Women having beaten UE Sopron and Nadezhda at home, either side of a road win at Wisla Can-Pack and with all games relatively close. Their TKBL record is less impressive since the defending champions unexpectedly dropped two early games and are in third place chasing fellow EuroLeague Women representatives Galatasaray odeabank and Kayseri Kaski spor who are yet to lose.

35. Angel McCoughtry (Fenerbahce)
Angel McCoughtry has been rock-solid for Fenerbahce and will be the main headache for BLMA

The Hot Hands: Angel McCoughtry has generally been the hottest player form-wise so far for Fenerbahce, shootingthe ball a superb 62.9% from the floor and leading the tournament with 3.7 steals per game. Isabelle Yacoubou and Anastasiya Verameyenka are also impressing in the paint and between them, they are proving to be a very productive center rotation. Shameka Christon is finding her range from the perimeter for BLMA and Robert is doing a fine job on the glass for her team with over eight rebounds per game.

‘X Factors' & Match Ups: BLMA are a low-scoring team in the competition and are second worst in assists (9.0 per game), whereas Fener are second best (17.0) in that category. Considering the French have shot the ball better from downtown (40.0%) than inside (37.7%) and sealed quite a few scores in transition because of their propensity for grabbing steals, they could struggle if their outside game deserts them. Essentially, BLMA must get more clinical from inside the arc to push a team like Fenerbahce. However, the visitors still haven't hit anywhere near top gear yet and will want to ensure they keep Christon quiet and whoever matches up with her will have a big defensive assignment. Helena Ciak is viewed as a potential addition to the French national team and so her battle under the hoop with Isabelle Yacoubou should be an important match-up.

Did you know?: BLMA are the best team in the competition for steals this seasons so far, averaging an impressive 12.7 per game. Shameka Christon played with Anastasiya Verameyenka at Nadezhda and also alongside Ivana Matovic at Lotos Gdynia, whilst Gaelle Skrela and Isabelle Yacoubou won silver together for Les Bleues at EuroBasket Women 2013.


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