Monday, March 30, 2009

Dynamo On to Semis

In the weekend's biggest game, Janell Burse and Dynamo Moscow defeated Nadezhda 66-61 in Sunday's Game 3 of their quarterfinal series. It turned out to be home-court disadvantage for Nadezhda, as the road team won all three games. Burse had six points and six boards and Dynamo got a 22-point effort from new San Antonio Silver Star Belinda Snell. Having built a 14-point lead, Dynamo was able to win despite a six-point fourth quarter. The key was defense. Nadezhda's Betty Lennox shot 3-of-15 from the field, and Olga Ovcharenko was 1-for-11 as the team was limited to 31.1 percent shooting.

Dynamo moves on to battle top-seeded UMMC Ekaterinburg in the semifinals. The teams will have this week off as Ekaterinburg and Spartak prepare to face off in the semifinals of the Euroleague Final Four this weekend. The Russian Superleague Playoffs will resume on Easter Sunday, April 12.

Elsewhere overseas ...

The playoffs are also underway in Turkey, where Ashley Robinson's Ted Kayseri Koleji squad is a major underdog against a Fenerbahce squad that features WNBA stars Matee Ajavon, Katie Smith and Tammy Sutton-Brown. My understanding is that in Turkey the higher-seeded team starts with a 1-0 series advantage, so the first game on Thursday was actually Game 2. Fenerbahce dominated that game 87-50 to take a 2-0 lead. Robinson was a bright spot for her team, scoring a game-high 15 points on 7-of-13 shooting and grabbing nine rebounds. It's great to see Robinson playing so confidently overseas. Game 3 is scheduled for Tuesday.

Ibiza-PDV continues looking to move up in the standings after an easy 67-45 win over Celta Indepo moved them within a game of Joventut Mariana for sixth place in the Spanish Lega Feminina. Shannon Johnson had 14 points in the win, while teammate Sancho Lyttle posted 22 points and 15 rebounds to win MVP honors for the weekend. There are just two weekends left in the Spanish regular season.

Tanisha Wright played passer in Tarbes' lopsided 78-55 win over Aix en Provence (pdf), which saw Tarbes hold a 22-4 advantage in the second quarter. Wright handed out nine assists in addition to scoring nine points in 25 minutes of action. At 22-1, Tarbes remains tied atop the LFB.

In Italy, Cras Basket Taranto remained tied with Famila Wuber Schio atop the LegA Feminnile standings with Sunday's 76-57 win over Liomatic Umbertide. Five Taranto players scored double-figures, including Suzy Batkovic's 14 points on 5-of-8 shooting. She added five rebounds.

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