USA Players Shine, EuroCup Team Makes History
History Made by EuroCup’s BC Valencia After Taking Down Powerhouse UMMC Ekaterinburg in 2021 SuperCup
Last week, UMMC Ekaterinburg was defeated 73-66 by Valencia BC in the 2021 SuperCup, a one-off game that since its start in 2009 has pitted the reigning EuroLeague champion against the EuroCup champions. On the line were a trophy and bragging rights, and it also marked the first time a EuroCup team was victorious in SuperCup history. Additionally, Ekat was the reigning SuperCup champion, having won in 2019 (the SuperCup was not held in 2020), as well as 2013, 2016 and 2018. Valencia was paced to victory by Australia’s Bec Allen’s 18 points, while 2021 WNBA MVP Jonquel Jones poured in 20 points in the loss.
Two Teams Remain Unbeaten in EuroLeague Play, USA Athletes Continue to Soar
It’s no surprise that Perfumerias Avenida (4-0) and UMMC Ekaterinburg (4-0) are the only two undefeated teams in the EuroLeague after four weeks of play. With both teams competing in Group A, Dec. 1 is a date to circle on your calendar. If they both remain lossless, Week 7 should see an epic battle for the top of the group. While some teams have begun to separate themselves, neither group has a clear view of its top four teams that will advance to the playoffs.
It’s worth noting that Avenida signed 2021 WNBA Finals MVP Kahleah Copper and still lists Copper on its roster. However, the squad from Salamanca, Spain, has two USA athletes on its roster – Bella Alarie and Katie Lou Samuelson – and will hold one out of EuroLeauge games in order to make room for Copper once she arrives.
Among top athletes with USA Basketball ties, Natasha Howard and Kayla McBride again turned in impressive games with 20+ points in victories for their teams. Howard, who is averaging 19.8 ppg., scored 26 and McBride, averaging 19.5 ppg., had 28. Further, McBride ranked first on the week in efficiency with a rating of 34 and Howard was second with 30. Other top U.S. EuroLeague performances came from Brionna Jones, who notched 17 points in a two-point loss, and Arike Ogunbowale, whose 17 points combined with Howard’s 26 to help their team win.
EuroCup Heating Up
The 48-team EuroCup held its third week of games and with five regular season games to be played, teams continue to jostle for position within each of the 12 groups. As teams get pared down to the 32-team playoff bracket, USABasketball.com will drill down into game recaps. For now, however, here’s a look at some of the top current and former USA Basketball players from this week’s games.
- Ariel Atkins’s 17 points and nine rebounds, coupled with 16 points and 14 boards from Joyner Holmes, helped lead BC Prometey to a 78-66 win over Elazig Il Ozel Idare.
- Angie Bjorklund contributed 18 points, five boards and three assists in a 69-58 Lointek victory over Flammes.
- Kalani Brown (22 points) and Aaryn Ellenberg-Wiley (20 points, nine assists, six steals) combined for nearly half of Hatayspor’s point total in an 87-56 victory over Panathinaikos.
- Kaela Davis exploded with 31 points and Megan Walker added 13, but it wasn’t enough as Tenerife fell to BCF Elfic Fribourg 74-66.
- Tiffany Hayes had 17 points, five rebounds, five assists and three steals in a 106-62 CBK Mersin win over Enea GW.
- Stephanie Mavunga’s 27 points and 16 rebounds led BC Polkowice to a 94-80 win over WBC Enisey.
- Teaira McCowan had a 21-point, 17-rebound double-double, while Danielle Robinson scored 17 to lead Orman Genclik to an 81-73 win over DVTK.
- Despite 19 points and 20 caroms from Beatrice Mompremier, Uni Gyor dropped its game to ACS Sepsi-Sic 70-65.
2021-22 EuroLeague Regular Season Standings & Week 4 Games
|Group A||W-L||Group B||W-L|
|Perfumerias Avenida||4-0||Sopron Basket||3-1|
|UMMC Ekaterinburg||4-0||Dynamo Kursk||3-1|
|ZVVZ USK Prague||2-2||Spar Girona||2-2|
|TTT Riga||2-2||Basket Landes||2-2|
|Umana Reyer||1-3||Fenerbahce Safiport||2-2|
|MBA Moscow||1-3||Beretta Famila Schio||1-3|
|KSC Szekszard||0-4||VBW Arka Gdynia||1-3|
TTT Riga 71, Umana Reyer 57
Jasmine Thomas, who is averaging 13.8 ppg. and 4.3 apg. over her four EuroLeague games, scored 14 points and dished out six assists for TTT Riga in its 71-57 victory over Umana Reyer. Reyer took the first quarter 20-12, but Riga evened things out at halftime, 32-all. Then a Thomas 2-pointer with seven seconds left in the third quarter gave Riga a 48-46 edge heading into the final period. Trailing 49-48 early in the fourth, Riga began to pull away for the 14-point win. Serbia Olympian Yvonne Anderson had 14 points and seven rebounds for Reyer.
UMMC Ekaterinburg 75, ZVVZ USK Prague 73
After suffering a defeat last week in the SuperCup, UMMC Ekaterinburg edged out ZVVZ USK Prague 75-73 to remain unbeaten in EuroLeague play since November 2019.
Ekat, which features an all-star roster that is not likely to see Breanna Stewart’s arrival any time in the near future, was paced by 15 points apiece from Jones and Spaniard Alba Torrens, 12 points from Russian star Maria Vadeeva and Brittney Griner added 10 points, three rebounds and a pair of assists.
Prague, which turned Ekat’s 15 turnovers into 15 points and outscored Ekat 16-1 points on the fast break, was led by 17 points apiece from 2021 USA 3x3 AmeriCup Team member Jones and Alyssa Thomas. Jones also nabbed eight rebounds, and Thomas had seven.
Neither team managed more than a six-point advantage in a game that featured 12 lead changes, including two in the final 10 seconds, and a nearly even split in time leading. Trailing by one with six seconds remaining, Jones got a pass from Thomas and hit her mark to put Prague up 73-72. However, Ekat called a timeout, and Torrens found Alex Bentley, who had scored five points until that moment, open for a 3-pointer at the buzzer for the victory.
Dynamo Kursk 92, Spar Girona 75
Howard and Ogunbowale combined for 13 points to help Dynamo Kursk to a 27-19 lead at the end of the first quarter and Kursk and never again trailed in a 92-75 victory over Spar Girona. Howard, who had six points and two assists in the first period, finished the game with game-highs of 26 points and eight rebounds; while Ogunbowale closed the contest with 17 points, including a 6-of-6 effort from the charity stripe. Spar Girona was paced in the loss by its two Americans as Kennedy Burke contributed 26 points and six boards, and Rebekah Gardner had 11 points and four assists.
Fenerbahce 73, Sopron Basket 47
Fenerbahce, which went 0-2 to start the season, handed Sopron Basket its first loss of the season and made a 73-47 statement in the process of picking up its second blowout victory in as many games. The biggest statement of the game in Turkey, however, was made by McBride, who scored a season-best 28 points on 12-of-19 shooting from the field, grabbed nine rebounds, dished out six assists and was credited with three steals. Kiah Stokes and Elizabeth Williams contributed 12 apiece for Fener, which shot nearly 50% from the field as compared with 33% by Sopron. The Hungarian side received 12 points each from Jelena Brooks and Gabby Williams.
VBW Arka Gdynia 71, Beretta Famila Schio 67
After dropping its first three games of the season, VBW Arka Gdynia picked up a narrow 71-67 win over Beretta Famila Schio in front of its home crowd in Poland. Morgan Bertsch put up a game-high 18 points for Gdynia, while Schio was led by Sandrine Gruda’s 14 points.
MBW Moscow 65, KSC Xzekszard 62
No matter the outcome, one of the two winless teams in Group A, both EuroLeague newcomers, would pick up its first EuroLeauge victory of the regular season. It came down to the wire and MBA Moscow was able to erase a 12-point deficit late in the second quarter to earn the 65-62 win over KSC Skekszard. Moscow, which had four players in double digits for points, was led by Karina Nizamova’s 13 points, while Nikolina Milic scored a game-high 19 points and Cyesha Goree hauled in 13 rebounds for KSC.
Galatasaray 83, Basket Landes 64
Taking a 21-8 lead at the end of the first stanza and in front of its home crowd, Galatasaray powered to an 83-64 victory over Basket Landes. Latvian Anete Steinberga’s 21 points and eight boards led Gala, which also received 14 points and eight assists from Riquna Williams. Fresh off a WNBA Finals appearance with the Phoenix Mercury, Sophie Cunningham made her EuroLeague debut and finished with five points, seven points and a pair of assists for Landes, which was led by 18 points from Australia’s Mariana Tolo.
Perfumerias Avenida 88, BLMA 67
In the final game of Week 4, Perfumerias Avenida remained just the second undefeated team in 2021-22 EuroLeague action with an 88-67 victory over BLMA in Spain. Karlie Samuelson led the charge with 17 points and five rebounds, while Alarie and Katie Lou Samuelson chipped in 10 points apiece.