After an exciting week of group play in EuroLeague Women, seven of the eight playoff spots for the 2020-21 season have been decided. Only Group A’s second seed remains up for grabs: Turkish club Izmit Belediyespor still has two games to play after arriving late to Group A host Salamanca.
But the biggest story of group competition is the undefeated records (6-0) of three teams — Perfumerias Avenida, UMMC Ekaterinburg and Sopron Basket — that earned the top seeds in Groups A, C and D, respectively.
Ekaterinburg’s dominance was largely expected — it once again fielded a roster most would consider to be unfair. But kudos must be given to Avenida and Sopron for exceeding projections. Avenida, in particular, tied Ekaterinburg for the highest cumulative point differential (plus-154) in group play.
Joining Avenida, Ekaterinburg and Sopron in the postseason will be Spar Girona (Group C), Galatasaray (Group D), Fenerbahçe (Group B) and LDLC ASVEL Féminin (Group B).
We’ll know which Group A team will join Avenida come mid-February, when Izmit Belediyespor is scheduled to take on Nadezhda and Dynamo Kursk.
Until then, let’s quickly run through the results of the second hub of group play. Remember that all EuroLeague Women games are broadcasted for free on FIBA’s YouTube channel and archived in case you’d like to go back and watch them later.
Monday, Jan. 18
Galatasaray 89, Basket Landes 63
Recap: Galatasaray opened the game with a 34-point first quarter and never looked back. Angel McCoughtry scored 10 points in her Galatasaray debut. Epiphanny Prince led the team with 16.
Sopron Basket 74, Bourges Basket 67
Recap: Sopron shot nearly as well from three (45.5 percent) as it did from two (45.7 percent) — enough to hold off Isabelle Yacoubou (20 points and 8 rebounds) and Bourges.
Tuesday, Jan. 19
LDLC ASVEL Féminin 79, Arka Gdynia 76
Recap: A one-point game with under a minute remaining, LDLC ASVEL Féminin was able to put things away on a layup from Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe (15 points and 7 rebounds).
Dynamo Kursk 86, Nadezhda 62
Recap: Kursk scored 53 points in the second half and were led by an efficient Arike Ogunbowale (23 points, 4 assists and 3 steals).
Spar Girona 82, TTT Riga 52
Recap: Girona held Riga to just six first-quarter points and had four players score in double digits. Chelsea Gray put together a well-rounded stat line of 15 points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists and 5 steals for the victors.
Fenerbahçe 99, ZVVZ USK Praha 70
Recap: Kayla McBride (26 points) and Fenerbahçe demolished their Group B rival, shooting a ridiculous 16-of-24 (66.7 percent) on 3-pointers.
Perfumerias Avenida 101, Izmit Belediyespor 80
Recap: Izmit Belediyespor led 46-38 at the half before Katie Lou Samuelson (6-of-8 on 3-pointers and 29 points) and Avenida woke up in the second.
UMMC Ekaterinburg 74, Famila Schio 58
Recap: Schio managed to keep this one relatively close until the fourth. Ultimately, Breanna Stewart (16 points) and Ekaterinburg were too much to handle.
Galatasaray 78, Basket Landes 59
Recap: Angel McCoughtry broke out in her second game for Galatasaray, scoring a game-high 26 points and evening the Turkish club’s EuroLeague record to 2-2.
Thursday, Jan. 21
Fenerbahçe 88, Arka Gdynia 57
Recap: Fenerbahçe was in control from the start and used a 29-6 fourth quarter to put Gdynia away. Kia Vaughn (19 points and 8 rebounds) showed a scorer’s mentality not often seen from her in the WNBA.
Dynamo Kursk 65, Izmit Belediyespor 61
Recap: Izmit Belediyespor once again fell flat in the second half, scoring just five points in the third quarter. Arike Ogunbowale nailed a series of clutch free throws in crunch time and Kursk’s defense did the rest.
UMMC Ekaterinburg 90, Spar Girona 83
Recap: Give Girona credit for hanging in there against Emma Meesseman (22 points and 8 assists) and the Ekaterinburg superteam. It wasn’t pretty, but it’s not every day you see a team allow 60-percent shooting from 2-point range and not get blown out.
LDLC ASVEL Féminin 85, ZVVZ USK Praha 74
Recap: LDLC ASVEL Féminin was able to keep Praha at bay during the fourth quarter despite Maria Conde’s (17 points) best efforts.
Perfumerias Avenida 93, Nadezhda 38
Recap: Monique Billings did not play for Nadezhda in this one, and it was all downhill from there. Katie Lou Samuelson (25 points) continued her strong play for Avenida.
Famila Schio 78, TTT Riga 68
Recap: Schio needed every bit of what Natalie Achonwa (17 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assists and 3 steals) brought against a Riga team that was trying its best to get its first victory.
Bourges Basket 87, Galatasaray 80
Recap: A crucial fourth quarter (26-16) was the deciding factor in this one. Isabelle Yacoubou (17 points) led five Bourges players in double-digit scoring.
Friday, Jan. 22
Fenerbahçe 67, LDLC ASVEL Féminin 65
Recap: A highly-anticipated matchup between Group B’s best lived up to the hype, with Alina Iagupova’s steal and layup winning the game for Fenerbahçe in its closing seconds.
Nadezhda 80, Izmit Belediyespor 78
Recap: Nadezhda bounced back nicely from its Thursday embarrassment, winning a tightly-contested free-throw battle down the stretch to outlast Izmit Belediyespor.
UMMC Ekaterinburg 90, TTT Riga 41
Recap: Needless to say, this was a complete mismatch. Ekaterinburg didn’t allow Riga to score more than eight points in a quarter until the fourth, and secured a perfect group play record.
Sopron Basket 84, Basket Landes 54
Recap: Sopron completed its impressive six-game sweep of group play, holding Landes to 32.8-percent shooting and forcing 21 turnovers.
ZVVZ USK Praha 80, Arka Gdynia 67
Recap: A disappointing season for Praha ended on a high note with Brionna Jones amassing 27 points, 10 rebounds and 2 blocked shots.
Perfumerias Avenida 79, Dynamo Kursk 70
Recap: Katie Lou Samuelson was hot once again, scoring 27 points, and Avenida out-rebounded Kursk 33-25. Oddly, Arike Ogunbowale (5 points) attempted just four shots for Kursk.
Famila Schio 77, Spar Girona 74
Recap: This was about as close as it gets — on multiple levels. Schio needed to win by at least five points to earn Group C’s second playoff seed. However, a missed two-point shot attempt with just seconds remaining sent Girona to the postseason instead.
Galatasaray 75, Bourges Basket 65
Recap: Galatasaray was once again led by Epiphanny Prince (18 points, 8 rebounds and 3 steals) and earned Group D’s second playoff seed with the victory.
Sunday, Jan. 24
Bourges Basket 92, Basket Landes 62
Recap: Bourges thoroughly spoiled the EuroLeague Women swan song for French basketball legend Céline Dumerc by scoring no fewer than 21 points in each quarter. Six Bourges players scored at least ten points.
Monday, Jan. 25
Perfumerias Avenida 98, Izmit Belediyespor 72
Recap: Avenida became the third team in this season’s EuroLeague Women competition to go 6-0 in group play. Perfumerias shot 63 percent from 2-point range and out-rebounded Izmit Belediyespor 41-27.