I am still fully confundered by the EuroCup format - but I can tell you this, the bracket is down to the final four teams, with both semifinal match ups getting underway yesterday. The semis pit Dynamo Kursk against Chevakata and Kayseri Kaskispor against Botas. Perhaps coincidentally, both semifinal matchups are pairs from the same homeland - one set of Russian teams (Kursk & Chevakata) and one set of Turkish teams (Kayseri & Botas).
In yesterday's first semifinal game, Kayseri maintained their home court advantage over Botas to notch a 77-65 win in their best-of-two series. Botas began the game on a 12-2 run, but the squad cold first-half shooting led to a 43-31 Kayseri lead at the midpoint break. From there, the home team continued to dominate en route to the victory. Kayseri's American players were impactful in the victory, with LaToya Pringle pouring in a team-high 20 points on 63.6% shooting and adding nine rebounds. Nakia Sanford posted an 18-point, 11-rebound double-double in the victory and Doneeka Hodges added nine points and nine assists for Kayseri.
Botas got a monster night of 22 rebounds and 19 points, including 15 offensive boards. Monica Wright managed 17 points, but only sunk 30.4% of her shot attempts in the loss. Quianna Chaney added 14 points for Botas as the three Americans combined for 77% of the team's offense.The series will conclude on March 1, with the winners advancing to the final series.
In the other pairing, the visiting Dynamo Kursk stole a 71-62 road victory to have the ability to close out the series against Chevakata and advance to the finals in their home building. Michelle Snow recorded a double-double of 13 rebounds and 11 points in the victorious effort. Temeka Johnson added 13 points and picked up five steals for the visitors.
Despite a wire-to-wire win for Kursk, Chevakata rallied with a 13-0 run to cut the lead to 57-55 midway through the second half, but the rally wasn't sustainable. Jessica Davenport was one of three Chevakata players to score in double-digits as she scored 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Davenport and Loree Moore were the leading rebounders for Chevakatain the loss, with five apiece. Moore also added seven assists and five points for Chevakata. The two will meet again Feb. 29 to battle for a spot in the finals.
The finals will be played March 15 and March 22.