The weekend’s biggest game in Europe was played in Salamanca, Spain, where Halcon Avenida hosted Ros Casares Valencia in a matchup of the Liga Feminina’s two best teams, both of them unbeaten. The home team pulled away down the stretch, with Avenida outscoring Ros Casares 24-16 in the final period to win what was a three-point game by a 76-65 score. Katie Douglas scored a game-high 25 points, but just one other player reached double-figures for Ros Casares (Rebekkah Brunson with 12 points and eight boards). Jana Vesela had two points and an assist. Belinda Snell paced Avenida with 22 points, including four makes from beyond the arc. Ros Casares will host the crucial return matchup between the two teams in March.
The Dandenong Jayco Rangers played Saturday without Storm post Abby Bishop, the team’s leading scorer, and will be without her for an extended period after she was diagnosed with a fractured bone in her left foot. A typical rehab time is four to six weeks, but Bishop is hoping to be back on the floor earlier than that.
”Everyone heals differently,” she told The Age. ”I have been told if I do everything right, then it could heal within two weeks.”
As for the game itself, you may go many years without seeing another quite like the matchup between the Rangers and the Bendigo Spirit on Saturday. Not only were the two teams tied at the end of regulation; they also had identical scores after every quarter. Overtime finally separated them, with Bendigo pulling off the 77-74 road upset. The Spirit’s Antonia Edmonson put her team up three by scoring with 11 seconds left, while Kathleen MacLeod missed a three that could have forced a second extra session. Ashley Robinson had 10 points, nine rebounds and four blocks for Dandenong, which was led by 20 points and five assists from MacLeod. Edmonson scored a game-high 21 points.
At 6-3, the Rangers still stand second in the WNBL. League-leading Canberra (9-1) had the weekend off.
In a game that was not quite as close as the final margin, Spartak Moscow Region earned an 86-74 victory over host Dynamo Moscow Sunday. Spartak dominated the first and third quarters, outscoring Dynamo 49-30. The third-quarter run helped Spartak open up a lead that grew as large as 17 points at times during the final period. Lauren Jackson was among six Spartak players who scored at least nine points, finishing with 12 and five rebounds. Epiphanny Prince, Noelle Quinn and Irina Sokolovskaya scored 13 apiece.