Wednesday’s matchup between Ros Casares Valencia and Galatasaray in Istanbul was an anticipated matchup between two of the continent’s top teams. Instead, it proved to be a mismatch. Ros Casares took an early nine-point lead after one quarter and held Galatasaray to just 13 points in the middle two quarters combined, opening up a 30-point advantage and going on to win 76-46.
Valencia got big offensive production from an unlikely source. Guard Laia Palau, who had yet to score double figures in any Euroleague game, went off for 20 points in addition to handing out seven assists and grabbing five rebounds. Sancho Lyttle also scored 20 points and Ann Wauters pulled down 15 rebounds. With performances like that, Ros Casares was able to get Lauren Jackson more rest after she injured her ankle last week. Jana Vesela had five rebounds. Diana Taurasi scored 14 points to lead Galatasaray, but shot just 5-of-13 from the field. Tina Charles shot 4-of-14 and Epiphanny Prince 3-of-11. As a team, Gala made 31.0 percent of its attempts. Valencia backed up its defense by dominating the glass, grabbing 19 offensive rebounds.
With the win, Ros Casares tied Galatasaray atop Group A at 6-1. We stand at the midpoint of group play, with each team having faced all the other teams in the group and now preparing for the return match. Valencia has beaten both of the other powers in Group A (Galatasaray and UMMC Ekaterinburg) and hosts the other matchup with Galatasaray, putting Ros Casares in the driver’s seat in the conference.
Wisla Can-Pack Krakow went on the road to beat Gospic CO 73-65 and stay in a crowded tie for first place in Group C. Down 57-55 with 7:10 to play, Wisla outscored Gospic 16-8 the rest of the way. Ewelina Kobryn played a key role in that run and finished with 13 points, 11 rebounds and three assists. Nicole Powell led Wisla with 22 points and Erin Phillips scored 15. Julie McBride had 16 points and seven assists for Gospic.
Also in Group C, Frisco Brno fell 71-54 at home against Good Angels Kosice. The game was close before Kosice pulled away in the fourth quarter, outscoring Brno 22-9 in the period. A healthy Ashley Robinson contributed 10 points, four rebounds and two blocks. Romana Hedjova scored a team-high 16 points. Danielle McCray of the Connecticut Sun scored 19 points for Kosice, while Natalia Vieru doubled up with 16 points and 14 rebounds.