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EuroLeague Women: Ekaterinburg, Avenida rematch highlights final week of regular-season action

UMMC Ekaterinburg and Perfumerias Avenida played one of the highest-scoring games in EuroLeague history earlier this season. They’ll meet again in the final week of the 2021-22 regular season.

Kahleah Copper scored 34 points for Perfumerias Avenida in its last game against UMMC Ekaterinburg.
Image courtesy of EuroLeague Women (@EuroLeagueWomen) via Twitter

The final full week of the 2021-22 EuroLeague Women regular season is upon us, and the competition has saved the best for last: A match between UMMC Ekaterinburg (12-0) and Perfumerias Avenida (10-2).

“Best,” of course, is somewhat subjective, but Ekaterinburg and Avenida currently have the best and second-best records in EuroLeague Women, respectively. Both teams are absolutely loaded with world-class talent, and neither has lost a game since their last meeting on Dec. 1.

That Week 7 game was one for the ages, and certainly one of the most entertaining in recent EuroLeague Women memory. A 110-102 Ekaterinburg victory, it was the highest-scoring game of the season, featuring both teams playing at their best — as well as giving them a tough act to follow for impartial viewers.

Highlights: Ekaterinburg wins Week 7 shootout over Avenida

The highly-anticipated rematch between Ekaterinburg and Avenida comes with both clubs having clinched spots in the EuroLeague Women postseason and Ekaterinburg being the clear favorite for the competition’s No. 1 overall postseason seed. Avenida is still technically in position to end the season with that honor, but would have to defeat Ekaterinburg by nine or more points this week, as well as win its final regular-season game against BLMA and hope Ekaterinburg loses its final regular-season game against MBA Moscow, in accordance with FIBA’s official tiebreak procedures.

It’s a great example of how tight things can get near the end of a EuroLeague Women regular season, even if the competition has an obvious preseason favorite like Ekaterinburg. Over in Group B, Fenerbahçe Safiport (9-3) became the first club in the group to clinch a EuroLeague Women postseason berth last week with a victory over Sopron Basket (8-5). Fenerbahçe will now take on Dynamko Kursk (8-5), which did itself a huge favor last week by defeating both Beretta Famila Schio (7-5) and Spar Girona (6-6). There’s more at stake for Kursk than for Fenerbahçe here, but final postseason seeding is still very much in the air.

As has been the case for the past few weeks, several EuroLeague Women games have been postponed due to COVID-19-related disruptions and will be rescheduled for later dates, so while this will be the last full week of regular-season play, there are still a handful of games that will be need to be made up before the postseason begins on Feb. 23. The Week 14 games that have been postponed are:

The rest of the scheduled games will be streamed live and for free on FIBA’s official EuroLeague Women YouTube channel. Here are the details for each of this week’s games:


Tuesday, February 1

UMMC Ekaterinburg (12-0) vs. Perfumerias Avenida (10-2)

When: 2:30 p.m. ET

Where: Pabellón Municipal Würzburg, Salamanca

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable players: Jonquel Jones, Brittney Griner, Courtney Vandersloot, Allie Quigley, Emma Meesseman, Maria Vadeeva, Alba Torrens, Alex Bentley (UMMC Ekaterinburg); Kahleah Copper, Katie Lou Samuelson, Karlie Samuelson, Bella Alarie, Emese Hof, Silvia Dominguez, Maite Cazorla (Perfumerias Avenida)

Matchup details: Ekaterinburg’s level of talent speaks for itself, and if it shoots better than 60 percent from the field like it did in the first meeting between these two clubs, Avenida is going to have a difficult time. The Spanish club knocked down 11 3-pointers and forced 20 turnovers to keep itself in the game, and while outside shooting will come and go for any team, expect Avenida to employ a similarly aggressive defensive strategy in this one to make Ekaterinburg’s centers uncomfortable. Keep in mind that Ekaterinburg was without both Vandersloot and Griner in Week 7. Diminishing returns is always a possibility when it comes to all-world basketball lineups, but to say that Ekaterinburg is even stronger now than it was when Avenida nearly defeated the Russian superteam wouldn’t be incorrect.

ZVVZ USK Praha (8-4) vs. Umana Reyer (3-8)

When: 2:30 p.m. ET

Where: Palasport Taliercio, Venice

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable players: Alyssa Thomas, Brionna Jones, Maria Conde (ZVVZ USK Praha); Astou Ndour-Fall, Kayla Thornton, Yvonne Anderson (Umana Reyer)

Matchup details: On the surface, this game may seem like a foregone conclusion, but Reyer still has something to play for, currently tied with MBA Moscow in Group A with a trip to the EuroCup Women postseason on the line. Praha, meanwhile, will be equally hungry for a win, having officially cooled off after a lengthy midseason winning streak and dropping its last two games against Ekaterinburg and Avenida. This is, obviously, the perfect opportunity for Praha to get back on track; it thumped Reyer 88-53 back in Week 7, a game in which Praha amassed 53 rebounds (25 offensive) to Reyer’s 29.

Wednesday, February 2

Fenerbahçe Safiport (9-3) vs. Dynamo Kursk (8-5)

When: 10 a.m. ET

Where: Sport Concert Complex, Kursk

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable players: Alina Iagupova, Satou Sabally, Kayla McBride, Elizabeth Williams, Amanda Zahui B., Kiah Stokes, Bria Hartley (Fenerbahçe Safiport); Arike Ogunbowale, Natasha Howard, Epiphanny Prince, Eva Lisec (Dynamo Kursk)

Matchup details: Kursk took care of business last week, winning two games to turn an uncertain playoff position into a much friendlier one. Howard’s 33-point, 19-rebound line against Girona was the latest example of how deadly Kursk can be if its high-end talent is firing on all cylinders, and the Russian club will need every bit of that talent to perform against Fenerbahçe, which has now won seven consecutive games thanks to its depth in the frontcourt, the playmaking of Iagupova and the shooting of McBride. At the very least, Kursk will need to make up for its 83-58 loss to Fenerbahçe in Week 7.

Spar Girona (6-6) vs. VBW Arka Gdynia (2-11)

When: 12 p.m. ET

Where: Gdynia Arena, Gdynia

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable players: Kennedy Burke, Michaela Onyenwere, Rebekah Gardner, Laia Palau, Magali Mendy (Spar Girona); Megan Gustafson, Morgan Bertsch, Alice Kunek (VBW Arka Gdynia)

Matchup details: Girona needs this win badly, having lost three consecutive games and all but falling out of the EuroLeague Women playoff picture. Its offense has struggled of late, having averaged just under 64 points per game during that losing streak. A matchup against Gdynia’s No. 15 defense (78 points allowed per game) will be favorable for Girona — the Spanish club scored a season-high 80 points against it back in Week 7 — as well as Girona’s postseason hopes. Landes, which has won its last two games, is hot on Girona’s tail in the Group B standings.

Beretta Famila Schio (7-5) vs. Galatasaray (5-8)

When: 12 p.m. ET

Where: Şehit Mustafa Özel Spor Kompleksi, Istanbul

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable players: Diamond DeShields, Charli Collier, Sandrine Gruda, Kitija Laksa, Kim Mestdagh (Beretta Famila Schio); Kaela Davis, Kelsey Plum, Tina Krajišnik (Galatasaray)

Matchup details: Signing Plum hasn’t exactly worked out as Galatasaray had hoped after losing two straight games, but it’s still on the cusp of a EuroCup Women playoff appearance. Similarly, Schio is looking to secure a spot in the EuroLeague Women playoffs, so there are important goals at stake for both teams here. Galatasaray’s offense (44 and 62 points in its last two games, respectively) simply must be better if it’s going to pull the upset over No. 4 seed Schio.

Sopron Basket (8-5) vs. Basket Landes (5-7)

When: 1:30 p.m. ET

Where: Espace François Mitterrand, Mont-de-Marsan

How to watch: FIBA YouTube live stream

Notable players: Gabby Williams, Briann January, Bernadett Határ (Sopron Basket); Sophie Cunningham, Marianna Tolo, Regan Magarity, Marine Fauthoux (Basket Landes)

Matchup details: Sopron scored just 59 points against Fenerbahçe last week in a less-than-inspired performance, but is still in good shape in regards to postseason seeding, currently ranking second in Group B. The Hungarian club will now face a Landes team in do-or-die mode; a EuroLeague Women playoff appearance is out of the question, but Landes is still competing for a spot in the EuroCup Women postseason. Határ will have her hands full with Magarity, who currently ranks third in the competition in rebounding at 9.7 per game.