UMMC players celebrated the ninth consecutive Russian Premier-League win after the team confidently knocked out at home Nadezhda from Orenburg. So far, Ekaterinburg tops the Russian national tournament standings. Earlier 10 days ago, our team also defeated Nadezhda in the EuroLeague Women group round match (64:54).
The first few minutes seemed rather promising offering a fierce hot fight. The guests were first to open the score and during the first half they stood firm resisting the home side pressure. Sometimes Nadezhda even they tried to impose the opponent its rules and trick our side into their game. However, by the end of the second period Foxes changed the situation and put the game under control – 37:30.
After the interval, everything came back to the places where it was supposed to be. Foxes almost disarmed the visiting side offense. There was only one team dominating in the second half all the way to the final buzzer – UMMC. The reigning Champion won the third and fourth period with double advantage and won the ninth consecutive match – 75:50.
UMMC center Brittney Griner collected 20 points, 4 rebounds, 3 blocks. Emma Meesseman added 16 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks. Raisa Musina contributed double-double of 9 points, while Nika Baric added 8 points.
Competing for Nadezhda Emma Cannon gathered double-double of 12 points and 12 boards.
Nadezhda Head Coach Maros Kovacik:
- My congratulations to the home side team on another win, It was a well-deserved victory. We competed well for the first three periods. We always try to find balance between the players competing in the three-second zone and those acting on the three-point line. However, we are not always lucky solving this task. For example when we played against Salamanca our center players did a great job. On the other hand, in the game tonight our small players were dictating the rhythm. Our primary aim is to find the perfect balance between these players and as soon as we do it, we will be a serious opponent.
UMMC center Emma Meesseman:
- The game in the beginning was tough. It was great that we were able to deal with it, collected big points and capture the lead. There were few great moments when we scored points. Nevertheless, we are still progressing and know all the issues that need closer attention, so we have enough work that needs to be done.
UMMC Head Coach Olaf Lange:
- I am glad the way we played tonight and especially I am happy about the defense. After the match against Famila I did not have the same positive emotions about the defense because it was not always on the mark. In a couple of days, we were able to make a big step forward. Tonight the first period turned into a challenge for us. However, we found the game rhythm and brought the game to a decent level as a result showed a good game.
- Taking the statistics into account the team lost in rebounds. Why did it happen?
- We had 25-point advantage. I think it was even more important rather than the rebounds. Orenburg is a kind of team that score points with low percentage especially off the three-second zone and they know it well. They make a shot and all gather around to fight for the rebound. They are aggressive competing for the boards. Cannon, Cherepanova and Johns work hard to get the rebounds and that is why they gathered so many boards. Our back line was supposed to show a good game tonight, win the match and make another step toward a better defense. We fulfilled these goals and now can work more intense to improve our rebounds.
- Olaf, the game tonight followed the same scenario as the match against Schio when Brittney Griner scored the bulk of points. In the beginning of the match, Griner is the only one who score. Why other players show such low percentage in the beginning of the match?
- Yes, you are right; however, it does not disturb me. One of our game schemes imply good game by Griner in the beginning. No other team but ours have her on the roster. Griner is a unique player and she is our team player. Our whole game starts with her. As soon as she is in the game, she draws all attention of opponent’s defense clearing the space for her teammates thus providing with comfortable opportunities to make successful shots. It is a normal way of building the game. There is no reason to be scared about it.
- In the fourth period there were 2 players covering Griner and she tried to pass the ball for few times to her teammates, but failed. How are you going to cope with these kind of troubles?
- Yes, we saw it happening on the floor. However, it was the first time when two players at once tried to work against Griner. It never happened before. It is the third game when she scores more than 20 points. We anticipate seeing more doubles attempt to hold her back. We have the experience and know how to deal with it. In addition, after these moments we were able to score triples. Therefore, we want to work out the scheme when we will be able to score both from the three-point line as well as in the three-second zone.
- Natalia Vieru seemed to be not so bright tonight. What has happened?
- Natalia has a small injury of her back. That is why she did not play on her normal high level. Orenburg is a tall team and they have many strong center players so we needed someone to substitute Brittney Griner for a few minutes in order to have some rest. I talked to doctor and there was nothing dangerous about this rotation when Natalia went out on court. However, she is very sensitive about her back and if you touch it she feels it. That is whu it is highly possible that you will not see her on court next week. She will not play against BLMA and Spartak.
After 9 rounds UMMC showed 100 percent results and confidently tops the Russian Premier-League standings.
On Wednesday, UMMC will finish the first stage of the EuroLeague Women group round with a home game against French BLMA. The game starts at 19.00. Match!Planet and OTV channels will broadcast the game live. Live streaming will also be available on the official Youtube channel. Match! Our Sport channel will show the game record.
Meanwhile on December 10 UMMC is having the next Premier-League match in Verknyaya Pyshma against Spartak from Moscow region acting as nominal guests. The game starts at UMMC Sports Arena at 17.00.