An acting Champion of Russia UMMC defeated Dynamo Novosibirsk in Game 2 of the Quarter-Finals, added another win to 2-0 score in the series and qualified to the Championship of Russia Semi-Final round in order to meet MBA Moscow.
UMMC Ekaterinburg – Dynamo Novosibirsk region 90:52 Quarters' results: 22-5, 25-19, 21-16, 22-12
While competing in the tournament in the ongoing season both teams worked to solve different objectives and the game outcome was predictable. Unlike the «blue-whites» UMMC was full of determination to keep the Champion’s title. So far, Ekaterinburg was strong enough to keep the domestic title for the last 10 years and had no intent to let it go. Miguel Mendez’s team tried hard to use the Quarter-Final series to make the most of provided opportunities in order to get ready for the following play-off rounds as well as the EuroLeague Women Final Four.
In the match debut, UMMC brought the guests a lot of trouble; even if an acting Champion did not have center players Brittney Griner and Jonquel Jones on the list for the match. Nevertheless it did not help Novosibirsk team to avoid the defeat. The Foxes picked up high game pace and built an impenetrable wall of defense, thus depriving Dynamo of any opportunity to score – 20:0. Dmitry Donskov’s team was able to score first points only within one and a half minute before the first break. There were only 2 points from the field from the visiting side. UMMC outnumbered the rivals in the first quarter – 22:5, however did not hurry up to light up all its potential. The hosts evenly distributed its firepower along all 40 minutes and kept on working in a comfortable pace.
In the second quarter, the guests tried hard to return on court. Dynamo leaders Jamie Weisner-Scott and Miah Marie Langlois came up with excessive effort to propel the team forward and eventually the guests started to make good shots. It allowed the «blue-whites» to keep on floating forward, but not more. In fact, the game outcome became clear after the first 10 minutes. By the time of the interval break, UMMC center players’ duo Vadeeva-Meesseman combined scored the same number of points as the whole team from Novosibirsk – 24. After 2 quarters the hosts collected 23-point leadership and were not going to stop – 47:24.
After the interval break, UMMC bombarded the opponents with a series of attacks and at the same time blocked the access to our 3-second zone. All Dynamo attempts to pass through the hosts or outplay Ekaterinburg players were futile. Eventually 2-points and 3-point shooting percentage was almost equal 29% and 26%. During the match Dynamo was able make only 6 successful downtown shots out of 26 attempts. Meanwhile only UMMC guard Kayla McBride scored 5 of 6 triples thus demonstrating 83% efficiency. No wonder she was the top-scorer of the game list with 25 points and 6 rebounds.
Holding strong defensive positions Foxes kept on moving forward. Miguel Mendez’s team prevailed over the opponent on the boards and took twice as many rebounds (48 over 27). Maria Vadeeva was the best in this game component and as a result, she collected another double-double – 15 points and 11 rebounds. Other UMMC players also ended the competition with double figures. UMMC center Emma Meesseman collected 11 points; Natalia Vieru added 10 points, while Courtney Vandersloot contributed 10 assists and 8 points.
The opponents answered with 21 points from Jamie Weisner-Scott.
Reigning Champion passed the Quarter-Finals with 2-0 score and is ready to face MBA Moscow in the next round of the Russian Championship.
UMMC guard Kayla McBride:
- It was a good game. It was a little up and down in the first half and the second quarter might have been better defensively, but we just continue to get better for the Final Four. One game at a time. Now we are having and MBA that is what we are now focused on. I am proud of our effort, so it was a good game for us.
UMMC Head Coach Miguel Mendez:
- One more game. We are happy to be in the second round. Now we have the last two clean weeks and enough time to practice and prepare for the games. That is very useful for us and our leaders. We are ready to play the second round of the Russian Championship and look forward to compete in the EuroLeague Final Four.
This season Russian Championship Play-offs will be a best of three games series according to the 2+2+1 scheme. UMMC will start it at home. Game1 and Game 2 will be played at DIVS arena on March 30 and March 31. The matches starts at 17.00. Game 3 will be played in Moscow on April 6. In case if it might be necessary Game 4 will also take place on April 7 in Moscow. If it is not enough, then Game 5 of the series will be held on April 17 in Ekaterinburg.