Spartak Moscow Region got its biggest win in Euroleague play on Wednesday, knocking off Halcon Avenida, which had been undefeated atop Group C. Playing at home, Spartak took the lead for good early in the first quarter. Avenida got within three multiple times during the fourth period, but a 15-4 Spartak run helped secure a 72-60 victory. Spartak won despite an off shooting night from Lauren Jackson, who hit just 2-of-13 from the field. Jackson contributed on the glass, pulling down a team-high 11 rebounds to go with her nine points. Irina Osipova had 15 points and seven boards. Erika de Souza scored a game-high 19 points and Sancho Lyttle had a double-double of 12 points and 15 rebounds for Avenida.
With the win, Spartak is 3-2 at the midway point of Euroleague group play, a game behind Avenida in Group C.
Ros Casares Valenica completed the first half of Euroleague group play undefeated at 5-0 thanks to Wednesday’s 82-74 win over Frisco Sika Brno. The game featured a terrific post battle between Rebekkah Brunson and a healthy Cheryl Ford. Brunson went for 27 points and 12 rebounds, while Ford finished with 17 points and 20 boards as one of three Brno players to play all 40 minutes. Just six players saw action in total for Brno; five of them scored double-figures. By contrast, Ros Casares’ wide-open rotation featured 11 players. Jana Vesela had four points and two rebounds in 17 minutes.
Over in the EuroCup, Elizur Ramla moved another step closer to advancing with Thursday’s 79-61 win over visiting Hatis Yerevan. Ramla got a double-double from Laine Selwyn (16 points, 10 rebounds, five assists). Add in 20 points from Shay Doron and 18 for Le’coe Willingham and the team did not need much scoring from Tanisha Wright. Wright finished with eight points, four rebounds and four steals. Ramla has already clinched a trip to the 16th-finals, but is still playing for positioning in Group F. A win Thursday against Dynamo GUVD would ensure first place, as would a loss by fewer than about six points (because EuroCup uses point ratio instead of point differential, the exact number depends on how many total points both teams score).
Moving to domestic action, Canberra extended its WNBL-leading record to 10-1 with Wednesday’s 76-53 victory over crosstown rivals the Australian Institute of Sport. The AIS, which is in the league cellar, actually led 15-13 after one quarter before Canberra resumed normalcy by taking a 13-point lead to the half. Alison Lacey had a solid all-around effort with seven points, five rebounds and three assists. Michelle Cosier led the Capitals with 20 points and 13 boards. Jessica Bibby added 13 and Suzy Batkovic scored eight points.
The Dandenong Jayco Rangers got back in the winning column Friday, beating the visiting Townsville Flames 74-59. Ashley Robinson had five rebounds and four blocks as Dandenong held Townsville to 35 percent shooting, including just one three-pointer in four attempts. Kathleen MacLeod had a double-double of 12 points and 10 boards for the Fire, while Jessica Foley (17) and Tracy Gahan (16) were the team’s top scorers.
In Russia, Spartak took down Dynamo Moscow 86-74. A 26-16 edge during the third quarter proved decisive. Jackson had 12 points and five rebounds in 18 minutes while battling foul trouble. Epiphanny Prince, Noelle Quinn and Irina Sokolovskaya all scored 13 points. Marina Kuzina posted a game-high 18 points for Dynamo.
Ros Casares earned a high-scoring 102-72 victory over Cadi La Seu. Brunson powered the way with 27 points and 15 boards. Edwige Lawson scored 17 points and Marta Fernandez 16. Vesela had two points and two boards in 10 minutes of play.