This past week featured the start of marquee international competition for many of the Liberty stars suiting up for European clubs this winter, as EuroLeague and EuroCup group play began.
New York has 5 players currently competing in the highly competitive international tournaments – Epiphanny Prince, Kia Vaughn, Amanda Zahui B in EuroLeague, and Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe and Bria Hartley in EuroCup.
Prince, Vaughn, and Zahui B all picked up wins in their EuroLeague openers. Vaughn scored 11 points for Fenerbahce in the win over Nadezhda Orenburg, and Zahui B posted 15 points as USK Praha edged Bourges.
In EuroCup action, Bria Hartley and Mersin BSB defeated Good Angels, thanks in large part to a 24-point performance from Hartley.
Raincock-Ekunwe had one of the best weeks on the court individually, although Nantes dropped a EuroCup and French League game. She averaged 18.5 ppg and 15.0 rpg, and already leads the French League in rebounding at 14.3 rpg through the 1st 4 games of the season.
LIBERTY INTERNATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Amanda Zahui B – USK Praha
With Amanda Zahui B leading the way, USK Praha picked up a pair of wins last week, including an all-important victory in its EuroLeague opener, a 64-61 win over French power Bourges. In two games, Zahui B averaged 17.5 ppg and 7.0 rpg, highlighted by a 20-point performance in the win over Zabiny Brno in the Czech League.
France-LFB (1-3, Ranked T-9th)
|#8 R. ALLEN (France)||4||30.8||8||21||.381||3||16||.188||9||10||.900||6.5||2.8||0.8||1.3||9.0|
It was a narrow defeat for Rebecca Allen and Lyon last weekend as they were edged by Landes 61-58. Allen scored 9 points for Lyon, knocking down a pair of 3-pointers, while also hauling in 5 rebounds with a blocked shot. Through the 1st four games of the season she is averaging 9.0 ppg and 6.5 rpg. Lyon returns to action against Flammes on Oct. 21.
France-LFB (2-2, Ranked T-6th)
EuroCup Group J (0-1, Ranked T-3rd)
|#4 N. RAINCOCK-EKUNWE (France)||4||32.5||25||57||.439||0||5||.000||20||35||.571||14.3||0.5||0.8||0.0||15.0|
|#4 N. RAINCOCK-EKUNWE (EuroCup)||1||33.0||5||11||.455||0||2||.000||2||6||.333||12.0||1.0||0.0||1.0||21.0|
Despite a pair of big performances from Nayo Raincock-Ekunwe, Nantes dropped a pair of games last week, including its EuroCup opener against Belfius Namur. In EuroCup action, Raincock-Ekunwe had a monster game, scoring 21 points with 12 rebounds in 33 minutes of action. Over the weekend, Nantes lost to French League rival Bourges, 93-45, to fall to 2-2 in the French Standings; Raincock-Ekunwe finished with 16 points and 18 boards in that game. She currently ranks 8th in the league in scoring (15.0 ppg) and leads the French league in rebounding with 14.3 per contest. Nantes will face UNI Gyor in EuroCup action this week and then 1st-place Lattes Montp. over the weekend.
Czech Republic-ZBL (6-0, Ranked 1st)
EuroLeague Group A (1-0, Ranked T-1st)
|#17 A. ZAHUI B (Czech Republic)||6||22.7||31||63||.492||2||5||.400||35||38||.921||7.0||1.7||1.7||0.5||21.5|
|#17 A. ZAHUI B (EuroLeague)||1||31.0||6||12||.500||0||2||.000||3||4||.750||9.0||1.0||0.0||0.0||15.0|
Two more wins for Amanda Zahui B and USK Praha, including an all important EuroLeague victory in their 2017 season opener. USK Praha held off a late charge from Bourges to secure a 64-61 victory over the French competitor, with Zahui B posting 15 points and 9 rebounds. In the Czech League, Zahui B scored 20 points with a couple of blocks and steals as USK Praha moved into sole possession of 1st place in the league table with an 86-55 win over Zabiny Brno. Zahui B finished the week ranked 2nd in the Czech Republic in scoring (21.5 ppg) and 8th in rebounding (7.0 rpg). They return to action to face Galatasaray and BLK Praha in the coming week.
Russia-PBL (2-0, Ranked 3rd)
EuroLeague Group A (1-0, Ranked T-1st)
Oct 11 vs. Castors Brai: W, 84-68 (3 pts, 1-6 FG, 2 reb, 4 ast, 19 min) | BOX SCORE
|#10 E. PRINCE (Russia)||1||23.0||3||5||.600||0||2||.000||0||0||.000||3.0||3.0||2.0||0.0||6.0|
|#10 E. PRINCE (EuroLeague)||1||19.0||1||4||.250||0||2||.000||1||1||1.000||2.0||4.0||0.0||0.0||3.0|
Dynamo Kursk eased past Castors Brai in its EuroLeague season opener last week, winning 84-68. Prince scored 3 points in the win, and dished out 4 assists, logging just 19 minutes of action. In the week ahead, Dynamo Kursk will be back to playing a pair of games, facing off against Villeneuve from the French League in a mid-week EuroLeague tilt, and Inventa in the Russian Premier League over the weekend.
Russia-PBL (1-1, Ranked T-5th)
EEWBL (0-3, Ranked T-14th)
|#15 L. ALLEN (Russia)||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–||–|
|#15 L. ALLEN (EEWBL)||3||29.3||7||15||.467||1||1||1.000||9||11||.818||3.7||4.0||1.7||0.3||8.7|
Lindsay Allen and Dynamo Moscow fell to 1-1 in the Russian Premier League following a 75-70 loss to Kazanochka. Stats were not readily available from the game, or results from this week’s game against Nadezhda Orenburg. Up next, Dynamo Moscow will face Inventa on Oct. 24.
Turkey-KBSL (0-2, Ranked T-10th)
EuroCup Group B (1-0, T-1st)
|#14 B. HARTLEY (Turkey)||2||28.5||3||14||.214||3||11||.273||8||10||.800||1.0||3.0||1.5||0.0||14.5|
|#14 B. HARTLEY (EuroCup)||1||34.0||7||9||.778||2||7||.286||4||5||.800||1.0||1.0||4.0||0.0||24.0|
Bria Hartley and Mersin split a pair of difficult games last week, getting off to a 1-0 start in EuroCup group action with a 76-70 victory over Good Angels (Devereaux Peters) before falling to Fenerbahce, 64-55, over the weekend, in a meeting with Liberty teammate Kia Vaughn. Hartley was outstanding in the EuroCup win, scoring 24 points and knocking down a pair of triples to go along with 4 steals. Against Fenerbahce, Hartley scored 9 points and handed out 3 assists with a couple of steals. Coming up this week, Hartley will face MBK Ruzomb in EuroCup play and OGM Orman in the Turkish League.
Turkey-KBSL (2-0, Ranked T-1st)
EuroLeague Group B (1-0, Ranked T-1st)
|#8 K. VAUGHN (Turkey)||2||27.5||15||22||.682||0||0||.000||7||11||.636||8.0||1.0||2.0||0.0||21.5|
|#8 K. VAUGHN (EuroLeague)||1||30.0||4||13||.308||0||0||.000||3||4||.750||5.0||0.0||2.0||1.0||11.0|
It was a great week for Kia Vaughn and Fenerbahce as they won their EuroLeague opener and also held off Mersin BSB and her Liberty teammate Bria Hartley to improve to 2-0 in the Turkish League. In the 67-61 EuroLeague win over Nadezhda Orenburg, Vaughn posted 11 points and 5 rebounds, shooting 5-of-11 from the field. Against Mersin, she was dominant in the low post, scoring 24 points on 11-of-14 shooting with 11 boards and 3 steals. Through the 1st 2 weeks of the season she ranks 8th in the Turkish League in scoring at 21.5 ppg. This week, Vaughn and Fenerbahce face Familia Schio in EuroLeague and Bornova in Turkey.
Turkey-KBSL (0-2, T-10th)
Oct. 15 vs. Hatay: L, 52-67 (8 pts, 4-13 FG, 14 reb, 1 stl, 1 blk, 38 min) | BOX SCORE
|#41 K. STOKES (Turkey)||2||38.0||11||27||.407||0||0||.000||2||3||.667||14.5||0.5||1.0||2.0||13.0|
Kiah Stokes and Botas fell to 0-2 in the Turkish League after falling 67-52 to Hatay (Courtney Paris, Leilani Mitchell) over the weekend. Stokes scored 8 points with 14 rebounds in 38 minutes of action. Early in the season, she ranks 2nd in Turkey in rebounding, averaging 14.5 boards per contest, trailing just Paris. Next week, Stokes and Botas will face Adana ASKI in league play.