Olaf Lange’s team did not experience any troubles competing against the guests from Kursk. After riding up and down on the basketball swing with 8:7 on the scoreboard UMMC paced forward and by the middle of the second quarter collected comfortable 20-point score advantage - 39:19. By the half-time break, UMMC increased its supremacy up to – 53:27.
After the break, both sides focused on defense. Hard work in defense brought down the level of offensive actions. The final quarter also did not bring any surprises. Foxes totally controlled the game and widened the gap all the way to maximum 40 points. Our team celebrated the 11th Premier-League win - 88:51.
Evgenia Belyakova paced UMMC with 15 points hitting precisely from behind the arc. Few UMMC player also collected double-digit figures: Emma Meesseman scored 14 points and 5 rebounds, Raisa Musina added 13 points and 7 rebounds, Olga Arteshina collected 11 points, while Tatiana Petrushina contributed 10 points.
Olga Frolkina produced 11 points for the visiting side.
Inventa Kursk Head Coach Elen Shakirova:
- There was too many buzz and players were under great pressure of responsibility. The players are not always ready to play with active audience and loud noise. We could not cope with agitation and it lead to mistakes. We tried to play the best game and did everything what we could.
UMMC Captain Olga Arteshina:
- It was a good game. We faced a young, talented and clinging team that had already showed us good basketball in the beginning of the championship. We got ready to face the opponent and examined their game style. They have many talents capable of leading the attack. You never know what to expect. I think were able to deal with this team holding back their creative and sometimes strange basketball. We successfully followed all instructions of our coaches and all of us used the opportunities to score. We had a good game, especially after Yakin Dogu as one more additional training before the game against Fenerbahche.
- UMMC has many young players on the roster. You are team Captain. Can you evaluate the level of their involvement in the game and position in the team?
- I am sure that all young players have already become team members. As you can see, Raisa Musina plays the third or the fourth position and our coach trusts the player. Raisa does her best on court. Victoria Zavyalova performs for a while and the coaches try to use all the possibilities to let her on court. We know this player and can predict what she will do as soon as she leaves the bench. All girls know each other; many of them play together in the national team. We have a high level of internal cooperation. We have already passed the equator and with every next game, we get to know each other better. It helps us to improve our team performance.
UMMC Head Coach Olaf Lange:
- I am glad we finished the match without injuries. It was not a clean game tonight and the referees let it happen. I was afraid that some of our players might be injured, however luckily it did not happen. It is good to have the games like this only once in a year. Overall, we messed up the defense in the third quarter, made many mistakes and suffered many losses. This game is over and I am happy about it.
- Victoria Zavyalova spent long time on court. How can you characterize her game tonight and during the whole season? Does she meet your expectations?
- Yes, I like the way Vika performs in the season, especially the way she played in the national team for 15 minutes against Lithuanian national team as well as Elena Beglova who played for 30 minutes that night. Vika is a good point guard. She is young; fast-paced and moves the ball well. It is easy to control and guide her. Frankly speaking, tonight she was terrible on court. It was not our Vika. You saw Vika after vacations. The team had a long break and she has just returned to her trainings. In case if she had few additional trainings before the game, we might have seen our regular Vika exceling on court. However, tonight she made 5 mistakes and was not so great as she normally is. I have many players on her position: Nika Baric, Elena Beglova, Kristi Toliver. I cannot always provide her with much game time, however in case, I have such possibility, I always let her off the bench. Vika Zavyalova is my next favorite point guard after Elena Beglova.
- When Maya Moore is joining the team?
- Soon, she will join us in a week. She is out of shape and you will not see her soon. It is possible that she will appear on court after break in February. She has not been practicing for almost 3 months after she finished the season, so she will not go straight on court.
UMMC is having the next Premier-League group round game on January 10 in Istanbul against local Fenerbahche.