On Wednesday, Shavlik Randolph and Foshan played their last game before the Chinese New Year break against Liaoning, knowing that they needed to keep winning to keep their hopes alive for a playoff berth. They ended up in a hole after the first half and ended up losing 128-122 to be eliminated from contention. Shavlik will be free to head to his next destination in Puerto Rico after the conclusion of the regular season. In this game, he had 23 points and 19 rebounds in 39 minutes and Doron Perkins had 20 points, 11 rebounds, and 11 assists. In the win, ex-Cal State Fullerton player Josh Akognon, who was teammates with Shavlik in Chinese last year, had 25 points and ex-South Florida player Solomon Jones had 22 points and 8 rebounds. Here is the box score.
David McClure and Neptunas returned to domestic competition at Siauliai and squeaked out an 82-81 win. David had 6 points in 20 minutes. Valdas Vasylius had 18 points and Evaldas Dainys had 10 points. In the loss, ex-Hofstra player Aurimas Kieza had 22 points and 9 rebounds and ex-Purdue player Lewis Jackson had 12 points. Here is the box score.
Daniel Ewing and Besiktas had a Turkish Cup quarterfinal game against Ankara Kolejliler and won 86-77 to advance to the next round. Daniel had 8 points in 23 minutes. Curtis Jerrells had 13 points and 8 assists and Patrick Christopher had 10 points. In the loss, ex-North Dakota State player Ben Woodside had 16 points and 10 assists and ex-Wisconsin player Kirk Penney had 13 points. Here is the box score.
Monique Currie and Perfumerias Avenida went to Croatia knowing that a win over already-eliminated Novi Zagreb would be enough to seal a spot in the next round and they did just that with an 86-68 win. Monique had 12 points and 6 rebounds in 22 minutes. Le'Coe Willingham had 14 points and 7 rebounds and Marta Fernandez had 14 points. In the loss, ex-Richmond player Mirna Mazic had 18 points and 11 rebounds and ex-JC player Latoya Williams had 17 points and 10 rebounds. Here is the box score.
Alana Beard and Wisla Krakow went to Turkey to play Tarsus with not much to play for besides seeding and despite a solid start, fell 72-70 right at the end of the game. Alana had 23 points in 36 minutes and Tina Charles had 13 points and 9 rebounds. In the win, Florida player DeLisha Milton-Jones had 19 points and 7 rebounds, ex-Oklahoma player Danielle Robinson had 16 points and 7 rebounds, ex-Maryland player Shay Doron had 14 points, and ex-Rutgers player Michelle Campbell, also known as Melisa Can in Turkey, had 11 points and 9 rebounds. Here is the box score.
On Thursday, Marty Pocius dressed but did not end up playing for Real Madrid. Like cups in several other European countries, teams in Spain qualify for the basketball version of the Copa del Rey with their league position after the first half of the season. Real Madrid finished first after the first seventeen games and the top four teams each had a randomly assigned team from teams five through eight for their quarterfinal. The random draw created one of the most intriguing possible matchup as Real Madrid was handed seventh place team and bitter rival FC Barcelona to open the proceedings. As expected, the game was an exciting one, going into a first overtime and then a second one, after Real Madrid chose to foul while up three only to give up the offensive rebound and tying basket. They fell behind in the second overtime and missed their last chances to extend the game for another five minutes and were eliminated after a 111-108 loss. Sergio Llull had 23 points, Sergio Rodriguez had 18 points and 8 assists, Nikola Mirotic and Jaycee Carroll had 17 points each, and Rudy Fernandez had 15 points and 7 rebounds. In the win, ex-Cincinnati player Pete Mickeal had 26 points, Utah Jazz 2008 second round pick Ante Tomic had 20 points and 11 rebounds, ex-Michigan State player Erazem Lorbek, who was drafted in the second round in 2005 by the Indiana Pacers and traded to the San Antonio Spurs later, had 17 points, ex-Texas high schooler Marcelo Huertas had 13 points and 10 assists, and ex-NBA player Juan Carlos Navarro and ex-Princeton player C.J. Wallace had 11 points each. Here is the box score.
Jasmine Thomas and Chevakata had the first leg of their Eurocup Women semifinal. As the highest remaining seed in the field at number six, they headed out on the road to fellow Russian team and nine seed Dynamo Moscow. They ended up falling behind and it looked like the margin might be very big, but they closed the gap late to go home down a manageable 82-73. Jasmine had 14 points in 30 minutes and Glory Johnson had 24 points and 18 rebounds. In the win, ex-UConn player Svetlana Abrosimova helped out the usual Team Maryland players with 11 points and 8 rebounds as Crystal Langhorne had 17 points and 10 rebounds and Kristi Toliver had 11 points. Here is the box score.
On Friday, Daniel Ewing and Besiktas had their Turkish Cup semifinal against Istanbul rivals Fenerbahce Ulker. Daniel was part of a good start for the team, but they fell behind in the second quarter and could not recover and lost 75-66 to get knocked out of the competition. Daniel finished with 10 points in 23 minutes and Curtis Jerrells had 11 points. In the win, ex-NBA player David Andersen had 15 points and 9 rebounds and ex-New Orleans player Bo McCalebb had 12 points. Here is the box score.
DeMarcus Nelson and Red Star Belgrade took a break from their usual games against teams from all around Europe to take part in the domestic Korac Cup. Since the teams from Serbia that participate in international competition do not participate in the domestic league until later in the season, this was their first chance to face Vojvodina, which is among the early leaders in the league before the better teams join the proceedings. The underdogs kept the game close for a while before they fell 97-72. DeMarcus had 19 points as he was only needed for 20 minutes. Here is the box score.
Jon Scheyer and Gran Canaria finished fourth in the first half of the season, so they were also part of the Copa del Rey, where they drew fifth place team Bilbao in their quarterfinal matchup. The game was close throughout until the higher seed pulled away late to win 74-62. Jon had 12 points in 21 minutes off the bench and Spencer Nelson had 11 points and 7 rebounds. In the loss, ex-St. John's player Lamont Hamilton had 12 points and 6 rebounds. Here is the box score.
Jess Foley and the Townsville Fire played the Dandenong Rangers and fell 71-63 as they continue to get ready for the playoffs already settled in their position. Jess had 10 points and 7 rebounds in 29 minutes. Jessica Adair had 10 points and 8 rebounds and Micaela Cocks had 10 points. In the win, ex-Virginia player Monica Wright had 15 points and 8 rebounds and WNBA player Jenna O'Hea had 11 points and 6 assists. Here is the box score.
There was one EuroChallenge game on Wednesday as the European competitions took the week off and let most countries contest their domestic cups. In Group L, Germany's Bonn beat Belgium's Okapi Aalstar 85-72. In the win, ex-Missouri State player Kyle Weems had 34 points and ex-UAB player Robert Vaden had 15 points and 6 assists. In the loss, ex-UTEP player John Tofi had 18 points and 8 rebounds and ex-Rider player Ryan Thompson had 16 points and 6 assists.
The last set of games in the group stage of Euroleague Women were all on Wedndesday as teams scrambled for a couple remaing berths in the next round. In Group A, Spartak Moscow won 72-61 in Spain over Rivas Ecopolis. In the win, Candice Dupree had 13 points and Seimone Augustus had 13 points and 6 assists while ex-Florida player Aneika Henry had 10 points and 6 rebounds in the loss. Bourges of France beat IMOS Brno of the Czech Republic 85-60. In the win, ex-WNBA player Emmeline Ndongue had 14 points and 8 rebounds and ex-DII player Johannah Leedham had 13 points and 7 rebounds while ex-Kansas State player Nicole Ohlde had 16 points in the loss.
In Group B, Romania's CSM Targoviste sealed their spot in the next round with an impressive 72-64 win over Slovakia's Good Angels Kosice. In the win, ex-Drexel player Gabriela Marginean had 21 points, ex-Rutgers player Matee Ajavon had 14 points and 6 rebounds, and ex-Tulsa player Jillian Robbins had 10 points and 8 rebounds. In the loss, ex-Texas Tech player Plenette Pierson had 17 point and 10 rebounds and ex-De Paul player Allie Quigley had 12 points. Turkey's Fenerbahce beat Famila Schio of Italy 82-68. In the win, Cappie Pondexter had 14 points and 6 assists, Angel McCoughtry had 13 points and 9 rebounds, and ex-DII player Agnieszka Bibrzycka had 11 points. In the loss, ex-WNBA player Laura Macchi and ex-Ohio State player Jantel Lavender had 15 points each and ex-Kansas player Danielle McCray had 11 points. The final game in the group saw Russia's Nadezhda Orenburg beat Arras of France 89-71. In the win, ex-Auburn player DeWanna Bonner had 18 points, 8 rebounds, and 6 assists, ex-UConn player Renee Montgomery had 18 points, and ex-Western Illinois player Zane Tamane had 12 points while ex-James Madison player Dawn Evans had 16 points in the loss.
In Group C, USK Prague won at home in the Czech Republic 56-51 over Mondeville of France in a game where only the winner would advance. Rebekkah Brunson had 12 points and 11 rebounds and ex-Rutgers player Kia Vaughn had 10 points in the win while ex-Cincinnati player K.B. Sharp had 20 points in the loss. Russia's UMMC Ekaterinburg beat 61-45 in a battle between star-laden squads. Diana Taurasi had 17 points and 6 rebounds and Sandrine Gruda had 11 points in the win while Sancho Lyttle had 12 points and 6 rebounds and Sylvia Fowles had 10 points and 6 rebounds in the loss.
With all of the group stage games completed, the fifteen remaining teams were sorted by record and then by the ratio of points scored to point against to create a ranking. Top seed UMMC Ekaterinburg of Russia was already selected as host of the final games earlier in the season, so they move on automatically. The other fourteen teams play in seven best of three series to determine the other teams that will head to Russia later in the year according to the following pairings:
(2) Spartak Moscow (Russia, A1) vs (15) Municipal Targoviste (Romania, B5)
(3) Fenerbahce (Turkey, B2) vs (14) Uni Gyor (Hungary, A5)
(4) Galatasaray (Turkey, C2) vs (13) ZVVZ USK Prague (Czech Republic, C5)
(5) Good Angels Kosice (Slovakia, B1) vs (12) Perfumerias Avenida Salamanca (Spain, C4, Monique Currie)
(6) Bourges (France, A2) vs (11) Wisla Can-Pak Krakow (Poland, A3, Alana Beard)
(7) Nadezhda Orenburg (Russia, B3) vs (10) CCC Polkowice (Poland, C3)
(8) Famila Schio (Italy, B4) vs (9) Rivas Ecopolis (Spain, A4)
The other Eurocup Women semifinal was on Thursday as nine seed Kayseri of Turkey earned a decisive away win in Slovakia at thirteen seed Ruzomberok 79-60 to bring home a substantial lead. In the win, ex-UNC player LaToya Pringle, also known by the Turkish version of her married name, Lara Sanders, had 22 points and 9 rebounds, ex-Tennessee player Glory Johnson and ex-WNBA player Evanthia Maltsi had 13 points each, and ex-WNBA player Nuria Martinez had 11 points. In the loss, ex-USC player Nadia Parker had 11 points.