The Russian Superleague kicked off its 2011 schedule yesterday, which meant the debut of Sue Bird for Spartak Moscow Region. In her first game since winning the FIBA World Championship with the U.S. National Team in early October, Bird scored 10 points and grabbed six rebounds to help Spartak overcome a test from Spartak Moscow, winning 77-74. The visitors, who led through three quarters, were held scoreless in the game’s final 3:32. Newcomer Jelena Milovanovic scored a game-high 18 points for Spartak.
In Israel, league play resumed earlier today. Le’coe Willingham’s double-double (22 points, 13 rebounds) led Elizur Ramla to an 86-66 victory over Elizur Rishon. Tanisha Wright added 10 points and eight boards as Ramla outscored Rishon 52-25 over the second and third quarters.
Ramat Hasharon, however, suffered just its second loss of the season by a 78-70 final against Elizur Natanya. Ramat Hasharon lost despite getting 20 points and 10 rebounds from Storm forward Camille Little. Ashley Shields put up 33 points for Natanya to spur the upset. Over the break, Ramat Hasharon replaced import Alexis Hornbuckle with Seattle native Lindsey Wilson, who joined the Storm for training camp last spring. Wilson had 11 points and six assists in her debut. The loss means Ramla is now alone atop the league table at 11-1.
Other domestic leagues will pick up their schedules this weekend, while Euroleague and EuroCup play resumes next Wednesday.