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EuroLeague Women Preview: USK Praha takes on UMMC Ekaterinburg in battle of the unbeatens

There are just two undefeated teams remaining in EuroLeague Women — USK Praha and UMMC Ekaterinburg — and they’ll face off in Week 4. Plus, Stephanie Mavunga looks to keep it rolling for BLMA after earning the league’s Top Performer last week.

USK Prag v UMMC Ekaterinburg - FIBA EuroLeague
Brittney Griner leads a loaded UMMC Ekaterinburg team that also features Courtney Vandersloot, Allie Quigley, Maria Vadeeva, Emma Meesseman and Jamierra Faulkner.
Photo by Elif Ozturk/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Three weeks into EuroLeague Women, two undefeated teams remain: USK Praha (Czech Republic) and UMMC Ekaterinburg (Russia).

While Ekaterinburg’s strong start was hardly unexpected — the amount of WNBA talent on the team would make a complete All-Star lineup in any league — it’s Praha sitting at the top of Group A. A cumulative point differential of +90 is by far the best in EuroLeague Women, and Praha’s Alyssa Thomas has been perhaps the top player in the competition thus far.

Thomas will have her hands full, though, with Ekaterinburg’s star-studded frontcourt. Brittney Griner, Maria Vadeeva and Emma Meesseman have been a problem that the rest of the league has yet to solve.

The game will be streamed live on FIBA’s YouTube channel, along with every other EuroLeague game, as usual. Here’s what to expect from each of them:

Wednesday, November 6

Nadezhda vs. Reyer Venezia

When: 9 a.m. ET

Where: Orenburzhje Sport Hall, Orenburg

How to watch: FIBA YouTube Live Stream

Matchup details: After getting thrashed by Ekaterinburg in Week 2, Nadezhda got back on track in Week 3 with a win over Castors Braine. Excluding Yvonne Turner (20 points), their offense continues to struggle, however. But the cure could come in the form of a Reyer Venezia team that’s currently allowing 78.3 points per game, the most in EuroLeague Women.

Gelecek Koleji Çukurova vs. TTT Riga

When: 10 a.m. ET

Where: Servet Tazegül Spor Salonu, Mersin

How to watch: FIBA YouTube Live Stream

Matchup details: Çukurova scored just 28 points (on 21.1 percent shooting) last week against USK Praha — a EuroLeague record for fewest points in a game. It’s hard to see them playing so poorly again against Riga, especially if Odyssey Sims (who was signed by the club earlier this week) is able to play. But if she isn’t, this is a prime opportunity for Riga to pick up their first win in EuroLeague play.

Dynamo Kursk vs. Fenerbahçe Öznur Kablo

When: 11 a.m. ET

Where: Sport Concert Complex, Kursk

How to watch: FIBA YouTube Live Stream

Matchup details: This one should be fun. Fenerbahçe expects to get Kiah Stokes back to bolster their strong frontcourt, though at the end of the day, the team goes as Alina Iagupova goes. DeWanna Bonner was relatively quiet last week against BLMA, so expect her to be more aggressive in this one.

Castors Braine vs. Bourges Basket

When: 12:15 p.m. ET

Where: RTL Spiroudome, Charleroi

How to watch: FIBA YouTube Live Stream

Matchup details: Both Castors Braine and Bourges Basket enter the week at 1-2, and their point differentials are fairly close, making this a pretty big game for both teams. Plus, Bourges has allowed 221 total points on the season, while Castors Braine has allowed 220. We’ll see if the game itself is this close.

USK Praha vs. UMMC Ekaterinburg

When: 1:15 p.m. ET

Where: Královka Arena, Prague

How to watch: FIBA YouTube Live Stream

Matchup details: Statistically speaking, these teams are close offensively. While Ekaterinburg ranks first in EuroLeague Women in both points (87.3) and assists (23.3) per game, Praha ranks second in both categories. Praha does hold a significant rebounding advantage, however, grabbing 47.7 boards per game to Ekaterinburg’s 37.3. We’ll see if this is enough to hold off Ekaterinburg’s relentless onslaught of talent.

LDLC ASVEL Féminin vs. Sopron Basket

When: 2 p.m. ET

Where: Gymnase Mado Bonnet, Lyon

How to watch: FIBA YouTube Live Stream

Matchup details: Sopron’s identity as a grind-it-out team is becoming clearer. They’ve scored no more than 66 points in any game thus far, but have allowed no more than 64. LDLC ASVEL Féminin has a chance to break Sopron’s shell, but only if Marine Johannès gets going — she scored just one point in a loss to Familia Schio last week.

Familia Schio vs. BLMA

When: 2:30 p.m. ET

Where: Pala Campagnola, Schio

How to watch: FIBA YouTube Live Stream

Matchup details: There are few players in EuroLeague playing better than Stephanie Mavunga is for BLMA. She’s currently averaging 21.0 points and 12.3 rebounds per game and was named the league’s Top Performer for last week. Schio will need Sandrine Gruda (16.0 points, 6.3 rebounds) to keep it rolling and limit Mavunga’s impact, while a breakout game from Diamond DeShields, who is shooting just over 20 percent from the field, would also be beneficial.

Thursday, November 7

Arka Gdynia vs. Spar CityLift Girona

When: 12 p.m. ET

Where: Gdynia Arena, Gdynia

How to watch: FIBA YouTube Live Stream

Matchup details: Girona got their first EuroLeague win last week over Sopron, and will look to make it two in a row against a Gdynia team that has the worst point differential (-28) in Group B. While Brittney Sykes is shooting below 30 percent from the field, Adaora Elonu has been a defensive monster for Girona, averaging 3.0 steals per game.