Friday, February 13, 2009

Overdue Overseas Update

After a six-week winter break, the French LFB returned to action last week. Tanisha Wright's Tarbes team picked up where it left off before the break, beating Basket Landes 70-57 (.pdf) behind 13 points from Wright. On Wednesday, Tarbes improved to 16-1 with a 73-48 romp over Calais (pdf). Wright served as playmaker, handing out six assists to go with eight points.

In Russia, Spartak got a bit of a test last Saturday from Nadezhda, ultimately winnng 81-71 after taking a narrow three-point lead to the final quarter. Roommates Diana Taurasi (32), Sue Bird (16) and Lauren Jackson (14) combined for 62 of Spartak's 81 points. Bird chipped in five rebounds and four assists, while Jackson pulled down nine boards. The trio was also largely responsible for Spartak knocking down 11 three-pointers to Nadezhda's four.

On Wednesday, Spartak got a more comfortable (to put it charitably) 90-44 win over Dynamo-GUVD. None of Spartak's star foreigners played more than 20 minutes in the win. Jackson had 16 points and five rebounds in 15 minutes, while Bird had eight points and five assists before calling it a night after 16 minutes.

Spartak has moved back atop the Superleague with consecutive losses by a suddenly-slumping CSKA Moscow team that was eliminated in the first round of the Euroleague postseason. Janell Burse and Dynamo Moscow handed CSKA a fairly-stunning defeat Wednesday, rallying from an 11-point deficit with eight minutes remaining to win 78-73. Burse came up with 16 points on 6-of-11 shooting and eight rebounds, outplaying rival Ann Wauters (16 points, but just three boards).

Katie Gearlds and Athinaikos rolled on to 18-0 with a 78-65 win over Apollon Kalemides. It was a tough shooting night for Gearlds, who finished with seven points, but she helped out on the glass, pulling down seven rebounds.

In Ireland, UL Aughnish stayed hot by beating the Bausch & Lomb Waterford Wildcats 72-60 last Saturday. The Aughnish came back after trailing by nine at the half. Kristen O'Neill scored a game-high 27 points and grabbed nine boards, outplaying the other prominent American in the Irish Superleague. UConn alum Mel Thomas had 18 points and seven rebounds, missing all seven of her three-point attempts.

BONUS Navel-Gazing Note: This is the 500th post in StormTracker's illustrious history, which spans just about 22 months. Thanks as always for reading!

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