Liberty International Update 1-10

With the holiday season in the past, the New York Liberty players competing across Europe returned to a busy slate of games this week as domestic and international competition was in full swing.

If the Libs were at all rusty from a little bit of time off, it certainly did not show on the court with a number of big time performances to start the new year.

Carolyn Swords and Rebecca Allen had the most jam-packed weeks, as each of their squads played three games in the Eastern European Women’s Basketball League regular season. Swords and Basket Gdynia won three games in three days, which was capped by her scoring 20 points in a win over the weekend. Allen’s Good Angels squad went 2-1, as she poured in 17 points in 15 minutes with 3 3-pointers in a victory over Astana.

Amanda Zahui B and Epiphanny Prince continued to help their Russian club teams role through the regular season. Prince and Dynamo Kursk completed the 1st half of Euroleague group play with a perfect 7-0 record thanks to a 90-50 win over UNI Gyor, while Zahui B and Nadezhda Orenburg stayed hot with Euroleague and Russian wins, as Zahui scored in double figures twice with 2 3-pointers in each win.

One of the best games of the week was with Tanisha Wright and Abdullah Gul against a WNBA laden Yakin Dogu squad, with Wright’s team falling 79-72 despite 16 points from the Liberty guard. Besiktas improved to 6-2 over its last eight games thanks to a 71-65 win over Istanbul University. Kiah Stokes led the team with 20 points and 11 rebounds, while Shavonte Zellous had 10 points, 9 boards, and 6 assists.

LIBERTY INTERNATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Amanda Zahui B – Nadezhda Orenburg
Lots of competition for the International Player of the Week Crown, but it’s going to Amanda Zahui B after she led Nadezhda Orenburg to a pair of wins. Zahui B has been excelling all year for her Russian squad, but really showed off her versatility this week, draining a pair of 3-pointers in each of the wins. In two games, she averaged 12.0 points, 9.5 rebounds, and 2.0 3-pointers per game.


REBECCA ALLEN #5 – Good Angels
Slovakia-Extraliga (12-1, Ranked 1st)
Eurocup Group D (3-3, Ranked 2nd)

EEWBL (7-1, Ranked 2nd)
Recent Results
Jan. 7 vs. Astana: W, 82-49 (17 pts, 3 3FG, 7 reb, 3 stl, 15 min) | BOX SCORE
Jan. 8 vs. Istanbul University: L, 60-67 (6 pts, 6 reb, 1 ast, 1 stl, 21 min) | BOX SCORE
GM MIN FGA FGM FG% 3FG 3FGA 3FG% FTM FTA FT% REB AST STL BLK PTS
#5 R. ALLEN (Slovakia) 12 19.5 50 88 .568 18 31 .581 21 26 .808 3.7 1.3 2.4 1.3 14.6
#5 R. ALLEN (EuroCup) 6 24.3 12 33 .364 9 21 .429 16 23 .696 6.0 0.8 1.3 1.5 11.2
#5 R. ALLEN (EEWBL) 5 17.8 12 24 .500 6 15 .400 7 9 .778 4.2 0.8 1.0 1.0 9.8

In the first action of the new year for Rebecca Allen and Good Angels, her squad when 2-1 in a busy weekend of EEWBL action, improving to 7-1 in the league, which places them in a tie with Carolyn Swords’ Basket Gdynia squad for the top spot in the league. Allen’s best game of the week came in a lopsided 82-69 victory over Astana, when she needed just 15 minutes of action to pour in 17 points, nailing 3 3-pointers, with 7 rebounds, and 3 steals. She also scored 8 points with 4 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 blocks in a win over Vega. Good Angels will now prepare for the 1st leg of its EuroCup tournament matchup with Flammes, coming up on Jan. 19.


CAROLYN SWORDS #30 – Basket 90 Gdynia
Poland-TBLK (5-8, Ranked 8th)
EEWBL (7-1, Ranked 1st)
Recent Results
Jan. 7 vs. Tsmoki-Minsk: W, 65-61 (16 pts, 6-12 FG, 9 reb, 3 ast, 23 min) | BOX SCORE
Jan. 8 vs. Kibirkstis: W, 76-67 (20 pts, 9-14 FG, 7 reb, 1 stl, 1 blk, 33 min) | BOX SCORE
GM MIN FGA FGM FG% 3FG 3FGA 3FG% FTM FTA FT% REB AST STL BLK PTS
#30 C. SWORDS (Poland) 12 27.1 82 137 .599 0 1 .000 34 41 .829 11.1 2.1 1.1 1.1 16.5
#30 C. SWORDS (EEWBL) 5 26.6 40 59 .678 0 0 .000 19 28 .679 6.2 0.8 0.6 0.4 19.8

Carolyn Swords and Basket Gdynia posted a 3-0 record in their return to action after the holiday break to improve to 7-1 in the EEWBL as regular season play wrapped in the international league. Swords was particularly dominant in the last two games of the busy weekend. She had 16 points and 9 rebounds with 3 assists in a 65-61 win over Tsmoki-Minsk, and then posted 20 points on 9-of-14 shooting with 7 boards as Basket Gdynia topped Kibirkstis 76-67. In five EEWBL games, Swords is averaging 19.8 points, and 6.2 rebounds per game while shooting .678 from the field. She is back in action as Basket 90 resumes Polish League play next weekend against 1st place Wisla Can-Pack on Jan. 14.


EPIPHANNY PRINCE #10 – Dynamo Kursk
Russia-PBL (11-1, Ranked 2nd)
EuroLeague Group A (7-0, Ranked 1st)
Recent Results
Jan. 4 vs. UNI Gyor: W, 90-55 (7 pts, 2 reb, 5 ast, 1 stl, 21 min) | BOX SCORE
Jan. 8 vs. Dynamo MR: W, 95-51 (11 pts, 6 reb, 3 ast, 17 min) | BOX SCORE
GM MIN FGA FGM FG% 3FG 3FGA 3FG% FTM FTA FT% REB AST STL BLK PTS
#10 E. PRINCE (Russia) 11 24.2 30 65 .462 5 16 .313 10 14 .714 2.7 3.7 1.3 0.1 7.7
#10 E. PRINCE (EuroLeague) 6 28.7 21 36 .583 0 7 .000 6 8 .750 1.7 3.2 1.7 0.2 8.0

Two blowout wins for Epiphanny Prince and Dynamo Kursk coming off a holiday break. Kursk closed out the 1st half of Euroleague group action with an unblemished 7-0 record following a 90-55 victory over UNI Gyor. Prince dished out 5 assists in the win, also scoring 7 points with a 3-pointer. In the resumption of Russian League play, Prince finished with 11 points 6 rebounds, and 3 assists in 17 minutes, and Dynamo Kursk eased past Dynamo MR 95-51. Two more games upcoming this week as Prince and Kursk face Wisla Can-Pack in Euroleague action and Sparta&K MR in the Russian Premier League.


AMANDA ZAHUI B #17 – Nadezhda O.
Russia-PBL (10-2, Ranked 3rd)
Euroleague Group B (6-1, Ranked 2nd)
Recent Results
Jan. 4 vs. Avenida: W, 64-49 (14 pts, 2 3FG, 15 reb, 2 ast, 1 stl, 2 blk, 33 min) | BOX SCORE
Jan. 8 vs. Kazanochka: W, 70-54 (10 pts, 2 3FG, 4 reb, 1 stl, 16 min) | BOX SCORE
GM MIN FGA FGM FG% 3FG 3FGA 3FG% FTM FTA FT% REB AST STL BLK PTS
#17 A. ZAHUI B (Russia) 11 19.7 52 85 .612 7 14 .500 21 23 .913 4.6 1.0 1.0 0.6 13.3
#17 A. ZAHUI B (EuroLeague) 6 25.8 29 55 .527 1 12 .083 15 18 .833 7.5 1.0 0.5 1.0 12.7

Amanda Zahui B showed off a bit of her long-range shooting in a 2-0 week for Nadezhda Orenburg as the squad got back to game action after a hiatus for the end of the year. In their biggest test of the week, the final match of the 1st half of Euroleague play, Orenburg topped Avenida (Erika DeSouza) 64-49, as Zahui B dropped 14 points, nailing a pair of 3-pointers in the process with an impressive 15 rebounds and 2 blocked shots. Over the weekend, Zahui Be played just 16 minutes as Orenburg eased past Kazanochka 70-54 in the Russian League, scoring 10 points with 2 more 3-pointers and 4 rebounds. She is now averaging 13.3 ppg in the Russian League and 12.7 ppg in Euroleague action. For the week, Zahui B averaged 12.0 points and 9.5 rebounds per game. Orenburg is back in action for the 2nd half of Euroleague play against Hatay on Jan. 12.


TANISHA WRIGHT #30 – Abdullah Gul
Turkey-KBSL (7-4, Ranked 4th)
EuroCup Group B (6-0, Ranked 1st)
Recent Results
Dec. 30 vs. Botas: L, 69-70 (17 pts, 6-16 FG, 3 reb, 6 ast, 1 stl, 39 min) | BOX SCORE
Jan. 7 vs. Yakin Dogu: L, 72-79 (16 pts, 5-10 FG, 5 reb, 7 ast, 1 stl, 35 min) | BOX SCORE
GM MIN FGA FGM FG% 3FG 3FGA 3FG% FTM FTA FT% REB AST STL BLK PTS
#30 T. WRIGHT (Turkey) 8 34.6 35 84 .417 4 11 .364 24 30 .800 4.6 5.0 0.6 0.0 13.3
#30 T. WRIGHT (EuroCup) 6 29.0 34 54 .630 0 3 .000 16 20 .800 2.8 3.3 2.5 0.0 14.0

Tanisha Wright and Abdullah Gul lost to Yakin Dogu (Courtney Vandersloot, Quanitra Hollingsworth, Essence Carson, Elin Eldebrink) 79-72 on Saturday, falling to 7-4 in Turkish League play. Wright enjoyed a strong performance for Kayseri, scoring 16 points on 5-of-10 shooting with a 3-pointer, also dishing out 7 assists with 5 rebounds. She is currently 9th in Turkey, averaging 5.3 assists per game to go along with her 13.3 ppg scoring average. Abdullah Gul has lost two in a row in the Turkish League and will look to bounce back against Istanbul University on Jan. 14. After that, the first leg of its Eurocup playoff match against Nice tips off on Jan. 19.


SHAVONTE ZELLOUS #2 – Besiktas CT Istanbul
Turkey-KBSL (6-6, Ranked 7th)
Recent Results
Dec. 30 vs. Yakin Dogu: L, 67-73 (17 pts, 4-11 FG, 3FG, 7 reb, 3 ast, 1 stl, 40 min) | BOX SCORE
Jan. 9 vs. Istanbul University: W, 71-65 (10 pts, 9 reb, 5 ast, 1 stl, 38 min) | BOX SCORE
GM MIN FGA FGM FG% 3FG 3FGA 3FG% FTM FTA FT% REB AST STL BLK PTS
#2 S. ZELLOUS (Turkey) 11 34.9 49 130 .377 8 33 .242 34 42 .810 5.1 3.4 0.3 0.0 15.1

Besiktas improved its record to 6-6 thanks to a 71-65 win over Istanbul University on Monday, with Shavonte Zellous continuing her hot streak as of late. She finished with 10 points, and as she has been doing, contributed in nearly every way, also grabbing 9 rebounds with 5 assists. She is now averaging 15.1 points, 5.1 rebounds, and 3.4 assists per game for Besiktas, which is 6-2 over its last 8 games. They return to action on Saturday when they face 2nd to last Samsun.


KIAH STOKES #41 – Besiktas CT Istanbul
Turkey-KBSL (6-6, Ranked 7th)
Recent Results
Dec. 30 vs. Yakin Dogu: L, 67-73 (5 pts, 1-4 FG, 18 reb, 1 ast, 2 blk, 38 min) | BOX SCORE
Jan. 9 vs. Istanbul University: W, 71-65 (20 pts, 7-8 FG, 11 reb, 30 min) | BOX SCORE
GM MIN FGA FGM FG% 3FG 3FGA 3FG% FTM FTA FT% REB AST STL BLK PTS
#41 K. STOKES (Turkey) 6 36.0 32 53 .604 0 0 .000 12 15 .800 16.1 1.0 1.2 1.8 11.6

After scoring just 5 points in a setback against Yakin Dogu just before the new year, Kiah Stokes bounced back in a big way to help Besiktas improve to 6-6 with a 71-65 win over Istanbul University. Stokes was 7-of-8 from the field to finish with 20 points, and also hauled in 11 rebounds to post yet another double-double. She is still averaging a double-double of 11.6 points and 16.1 rebounds per game, easily leading the Turkish League on the glass. Besiktas will look to keep its hot streak going against 2nd-to-last Samsun on Saturday.