Recap: Sun stars Brionna Jones and Alyssa Thomas dazzled, forced three-way tie in EuroLeague Women Group B

Arka Gdynia v USK Prag - FIBA Women Eurobasket
There was no defense for Brionna Jones, who led Praha to victory with 28 points on Thursday, Dec. 4, 2020. | Photo by Yasin Aras/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Through the first hub of games in the condensed 2020-21 EuroLeague Women season, LDLC ASVEL Féminin, ZVVZ USK Praha and Fenerbahçe Oznur Kablo are in a three-way tie for Group B. Perfumerias Avenida, UMMC Ekaterinburg and Sopron Basket, meanwhile, are undefeated atop their respective groups.

On Friday, EuroLeague Women concluded the first hub of games in its dramatically-condensed 2020-21 regular season — a stretch of contests lasting all of four days, three games per team.

In the final day of competition until the start of the second hub on Jan. 19, Alysha Clark and Lyon brought Satou Sabally and Fenerbahçe back down to Earth, Perfumerias Avenida compounded Dynamo Kursk’s misfortunes, UMMC Ekaterinburg demoralized its opponent, plus more!

Here are the game results for all of Friday’s EuroLeague Women games, the standings through the first hub of play and what comes next:

EuroLeague Women | Friday, Dec. 4

Fenerbahçe Oznur Kablo (2-1) vs. LDLC ASVEL Féminin (2-1)

Fenerbahçe’s hot start to the season, and 28 points from Kayla McBride, were stymied by Féminin’s blistering 43-percent shooting from 3-point range (to Fenerbahçe’s 27 percent) and a team-total 26 assists (to Fenerbahçe’s 14). After high-efficiency 20-plus-point efforts to start the season, Satou Sabally was cooled to seven points on 3-of-10 shooting from the field. Kiah Stokes (12 points) and Cecilia Zandalasini (11 points) were the only other double-digit performers for the Turkish team. And after scoring 38 points in a losing effort the day before, Marine Johannes was held to six points against Fenerbahçe. Yet, the French team came out victorious because of a balanced team effort from Alysha Clark (17 points, a team high), Helena Ciak and Aleksandra Crvendakic (14 points apiece) and Michelle Plouffe (11 points).

Final score: Féminin 84, Fenerbahçe 70

Basket Landes (1-2) vs. Sopron Basket (2-0)

Sopron Basket is one of three teams to emerge from the first hub of play undefeated and they got it done with Gabby Williams stuffing the stat sheets with 18 points, five rebounds, three assists and three steals. Jelena Brooks contributed equally on offense and neared a double-double with 18 points and eight rebounds. Landes contended behind three double-digit performances — Aby Gaye and Valeriane Vukosavljevic with 12 points each and Miranda Ayim with 11. But Sopron limited Landes to 16-percent shooting from beyond the arc while cushioning its advantage behind 45-percent shooting from deep.

Final score: Sopron 70, Landes 59

Dynamo Kursk (0-2) vs. Perfumerias Avenida (2-0)

Once a EuroLeague Women powerhouse, Dynamo Kursk’s 2020-21 season has been one of upset losses amid a retooling of its roster. Stephanie Mavunga’s 14-point and 14-rebound double-double, Arike Ogunbowale’s 17-point and eight-assist flirtation with one and double-digit contributions from Amanda Zahui B (13 points), Yulia Kozik (12 points) and Olga Frolkina (12 points) were not enough to overcome Tiffany Hayes’ 24 points for the winners. Hayes was helped with 16 points and seven rebounds from Katie Lou Samuelson and a 14-point and 13-rebound outing from Emese Hof. Karlie Samuelson added eight points, three rebounds, two assists and two steals.

Final score: Avenida 89, Kursk 74

UMMC Ekaterinburg (3-0) vs. TTT Riga (0-3)

UMMC Ekaterinburg did as super superteams do: obliterate and blow out. The team’s depth so far has been too much for any team to challenge. On Friday, Ekaterinburg’s offensive blitz — 71-percent shooting from the field (to Riga’s 28) and 50-percent shooting from 3-point range (to Riga’s 33 percent) — was just too much. Breanna Stewart led all scorers with 22 points on a blistering 80-percent shooting from the field. Allie Quigley emerged from her shooting slump with 20 points on 8-of-14 shooting from the field and 3-of-6 made shots from beyond the arc. Jonquel Jones (19 points), Alba Torrens (16 points) and Maria Vadeeva (14 points) also made double-figure contributions. On the losing side, Kitija Laska and Kate Kreslina contributed 13 points each; Binta Drammeh added 10.

Final score: Ekaterinburg 104, Riga 71

VBW Arka Gdynia (0-3) vs. ZVVZ USK Praha (2-1)

Brionna Jones’ 28 points and 10 rebounds were too much for Gdynia to handle, but it wasn’t as if Gdynia didn’t come to play. Alice Kunek was the team-high scorer for the Polish team, with 24 points, and Artemis Spanou and Laura Miškinienė each added 12. But Jones had Connecticut Sun teammate Alyssa Thomas on her side, who methodically built a triple-double of 19 points, 12 assists and 11 rebounds. Teja Oblak, with 11 points, was the only other player for the winning team to reach double figures.

Final score: Praha 85, Gdynia 76

Spar Girona (2-1) vs. Famila Schio (1-2)

Schio outscored Girona 21-15 in the third quarter in an effort to overcome a seven-point deficit at halftime, but Girona held on to win the fourth quarter and the game. Sandrine Gruda led all scores with 28 points for the Italian team; Natalie Achonwa (15 points), Jillian Christina Harmon (13 points) and Giorgia Sottana (11 points) also contributed double-digit scoring. Sonja Vasic led Girona’s scorers with 16 points; Maria Araujo (14 points) and Giedre Labuckiene (13 points) also scored in double figures.

Final score: Girona 85, Schio 81

Group leaders

After the first regular-season hub of games, the following teams sit atop their respective groups:

Group A

Perfumerias Avenida 2-0

Nadezhda 1-1

Dynamo Kursk 0-2

Izmit Belediyespor 0-0 +

Group B

LDLC ASVEL Féminin 2-1 *

ZVVZ USK Praha 2-1

Fenerbahçe Oznur Kablo 2-1

VBW Arka Gdynia 0-3

Group C

UMMC Ekaterinburg 3-0

Spar Girona 2-1

Famila Schio 1-2

TTT Riga 0-3

Group D

Sopron Basket 2-0

Basket Landes 1-1

Bourges Basket 0-2

Galatasaray 0-0 +

*Tied teams are ranked per these official rules.

+ Izmit Belediyespor and Galatasaray did not play in the first hub of regular-season games due to “critical COVID-19-related disruptions to their [team] preparations.” A decision has not been made by the league’s governing body concerning if or how these teams will make up the missed games.

Next up

The second hub of EuroLeague Women regular-season games will be played on three days in January — eight games per day — beginning with the following matchups on Tuesday, Jan. 19:

Perfumerias Avenida vs. Izmit Belediyespor

Nadezhda vs. Dynamo Kursk

VBW ARKA Gdynia vs. LDLC ASVEL Féminin

ZVVZ USK Praha vs. Fenerbahçe Oznur Kablo

Spar Girona vs. TTT Riga

Famila Schio vs. UMMC Ekaterinburg

Basket Landes vs. Galatasaray

Sopron Basket vs. Bourges Basket