In a battle of Storm stars, Lauren Jackson and Ros Casares Valencia earned a crucial 81-63 victory Wednesday over UMMC Ekaterinburg in Russia. After trailing early, Valencia opened up a lead as large as 14 points during the second quarter and cruised to the win behind impressive 57.4 percent shooting and three players with at least 15 points.
Reserve post Isabelle Yacoubou led Ros Casares with 16 points in 17 minutes, making eight of her nine shot attempts. Jackson and Ann Wauters scored 15 apiece, while Silvia Dominguez scored nine points and handed out seven assists. Bird scored nine points for Ekaterinburg, but was held without an assist and committed five turnovers. Sandrine Gruda, who scored 20 points, was the only consistent scoring threat for UMMC, which shot 41.8 percent and made just one three-pointer.
With the win, Ros Casares stays tied with Galatasaray atop Group A at 11-2 pending next Wednesday’s showdown in Valencia. The loser of that game will finish second in Group A, with Ekaterinburg (9-4) already locked into third place.
Over in Group C, Wisla Can-Pack Krakow suffered a costly 71-66 loss at Rivas Ecopolis. With the loss, Wisla fell out of first place in the group at 9-4, a game behind 10-3 Sparta&K Moscow Region. Wisla will need a win next week over Gospic CO and a Sparta&K loss at BLMA to finish atop the group. After entering the fourth quarter down one, Krakow scored just a single point over the first 5:10 of the period, allowing Rivas to open up a seven-point lead. Neither team scored in the last three minutes, allowing Ecopolis to hang on.
Ewelina Kobryn scored 15 points and grabbed seven boards for Wisla, which also got 19 points from Nicole Powell and 15 from Anke De Mondt. The rest of the team combined to make eight out of 26 shots. Essence Carson scored 19 points for Rivas Ecopolis and Asjha Jones had 18 points and eight boards.