That’s a Wrap! Europe, Australia Leagues Crown Champions with WNBA Season Around the Corner
| 2022 EuroLeague, EuroCup & WNBL Champions
|1. Sopron (HUN)||1. Tango Bourges Basket (FRA)||1. Melbourne Boomers|
|2. Fenerbahce (TUR)||2. UMANA Reyer (ITA)||2. Perth Lynx|
|3. Perfumerias Avenida (ESP)||3. Galatasaray (TUR)|
|4. ZVVZ USK Prague (CZE)||4. CBK Mersin (TUR)|
*The WNBL does not have a third-place game.
Underdog Sopron Crowned EuroLeague Champion
Sopron, which clipped favorite Perfumerias Avenida 74-69 in the semifinals, earned another five-point victory in the championship game, claiming the 2022 EuroLeague title with a 60-55 win over host Fenerbahce in Istanbul. It marked the first EuroLeague title for Sopron, which added Olympic gold medalist Stefanie Dolson ahead of its miraculous playoff run.
EuroLeague Final Four MVP Gabby Williams scored 16 points in the final, while Briann January added 11 points and Dolson grabbed a team second-best seven boards to go with two points. Sopron’s defense was key as it held Kayla McBride, who averaged 17.8 ppg. and 3.1 apg. on the season, to two points on 1-of-10 shooting, and Elizabeth Williams (12.2 ppg., 9.2 rpg.) to five points on 2-of-8 from the field.
In the semifinal, Sopron knocked off Avenida behind a 27-point performance from Serbian Jelena Brooks, while Williams added 13 points, six rebounds and six assists and Dolson chipped in four points and four boards. On the other end of the court, Avenida saw the return of Katie Lou Samuelson, who was out for the past few weeks. She scored nine points and added four rebounds, while Kahleah Copper, the 2021-22 EuroLeague MVP, finished with a team-best 23 points and six caroms. Karlie Samuelson scored six points and Bella Alarie, who grabbed six boards, was held scoreless.
Avenida Earn Win in Consolation Game to Finish Third
Falling behind 19-12 after the first period, Avenida closed to 37-32 at halftime and used a 22-9 surge out of the locker room in the third quarter to overtake Prague 54-46 heading into the final stanza. Avenida continued to pull away and claimed the 71-59 victory for a third-place finish. With Copper held to six points on 3-of-10 shooting, Katie Lou Samuelson stepped up and hit 10-of-13 from the field, including 4-of-6 from 3-point, and poured in 25 points to help lead Avenida to a 71-59 win over ZVVZ USK Prague in the third place game. Karlie Samuelson contributed seven points and Alarie chipped in six in their final EuroLeague game of the season.
Prague was paced in the loss by Brionna Jones, who had a double-double with 26 points and 11 rebounds, while Alyssa Thomas was held to 3-of-13 shooting and capped the game with seven points, nine rebounds and seven assists.
Fenerbahce Earns 83-74 Semifinal Victory over ZVVZ USK Prague
Trailing 63-59 at the end of the third quarter, Fener advanced to the championship game by outscoring ZVVZ USK Prague 24-11 in the final period for the 83-74 win on its home court. Ukraine’s Alina Iagupova scored a game-high 24 points for Fener, which was aided to victory by 15 points from McBride and 10 points and six assists from Bria Hartley.
In their penultimate game of the EuroLeague season, Jones contributed 21 points, seven rebounds, three steals and three blocked shots, and Thomas had 12 points, 14 points and eight assists in the loss.
Tango Bourges Claims 2022 EuroCup Title
After edging Galatasaray by two points, 69-67 in the semifinals, Tango Bourges Basket claimed the 2022 EuroCup championship with a dominating 74-38 win over Umana Reyer in the championship game.
In the final contest, Bourges went into the locker room with a 38-29 lead over Umana Reyer and outscored the Italian club 36-9 in the second half for the title win. Bourges was led by France’s Iliana Rupert with 25 points and Laetitia Guapo with 10, while 2003 USA U21 World Cup gold medalist Kristen Mann also contributed 10 points to go with four rebounds and four assists.
Serbian Yvonne Anderson scored a team-best 12 points and Spain’s Astou Ndour added 10 in the loss.
In its semifinal contest, which saw eight lead changes, Bourges led for just 6:21, including the final 17 seconds of the game, and trailed 56-49 heading into the final quarter. However, Bourges rebounded in the fourth quarter by outscoring Galatasaray 20-11 for the 69-67 victory. France’s Alix Duchet led Bourges with 19 points, Keisha Hampton added 12 and Mann chipped in 10 points. Kelsey Plum, who missed a potential game-winning 3 with a second remaining, was the game’s top scorer with 21 points to go with eight rebounds, three assists and two steals.
Galatasaray Claims EuroCup Third Place
After playing in the EuroLeague and being relegated to the EuroCup playoffs, Galatasaray closed out its season with a 75-67 win over CBKMersin in the third place game. Kaela Davis, who didn’t score in the semifinal game, was Gala’s leading scorer in the consolation game, had a team-high 17 points and eight rebounds. Plum topped off her season with 16 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Mersin’s DeWanna Bonner led the field with 22 points and 13 rebounds in its loss.
Umana Reyer Advances to Final with 85-80 Win over Mersin in Semifinals
Anderson (25 points) and Kayla Thornton (24 points) combined for 49 points in leading Umana Reyer to an 85-80 victory over Mersin in the semifinals. Anderson also dished out nine assists. Despite receiving 23 points from Great Britain’s Temi Fagbenle, 18 points and nine rebounds from Tiffany Hayes, 14 points and 12 rebounds from Bonner and eight points form Jasmine Thomas, Mersin was relegated to playing in the consolation game.
Melbourne Boomers Collect WNBL Championship
The Perth Lynx took the Melbourne Boomers to three games in the finals series but in the end, the Boomers won out with an 84-66 win in Game 3 to earn the 2022 WNBL title. The Lynx took the first game 98-71 but the Boomers clipped the Lynx 76-75 to force the third and final game.
Melbourne’s two Americans, Lindsay Allen and Tiffany Mitchell, were instrumental in the Boomers' run to the title. Allen averaged 18.7 ppg., 4.7 rpg. and 5.0 apg. in the three-game series and Mitchell contributed 12.7 ppg., 6.3 rpg. and 2.0 apg.
On the other side of the court, Marina Mabrey averaged 20.7 ppg., 5.7 rpg. and 2.3 apg. and Jackie Young finished the three games with averages of 17.0 ppg., 2.7 rpg. and 3.0 apg.