As the calendar prepares to turn to March and the start of the WNBA season draws closer, that means Liberty players competing internationally are getting ready for the heart of their postseason action while finishing up regular season play.
For a majority of the Libs, EuroLeague and EuroCup tournaments are now in full swing, with both entering the quarterfinals next week. After going 14-0 in the EuroLeague group stage, Epiphanny Prince and Dynamo Kursk will open a series against Bourges on March 7. Elsewhere in the bracket, a part of new teammates will square off as Amanda Zahui B and Kia Vaughn prepare to face one another.
In EuroCup, Rebecca Allen and Kosice Good Angels face Galatasaray in a home-and-home starting on March 7, and Tanisha Wright and Abdullah Gul will battle Lattes Montp.
The Turkish League regular season enters a brief hiatus over the next two weeks, so Kiah Stokes and Shavonte Zellous have a bye with Besiktas until March 11. They are coming off a 75-67 win over Osmaniye over the weekend, a game that saw both Liberty stars post a double-double as their team maintained a tie for 5th place in the jam packed league table.
LIBERTY INTERNATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Kia Vaughn – USK Praha
Her team came up just short in a 71-63 setback against Famila Schio in the EuroLeague group play finale last week, but Kia Vaughn turned in an impressive game for her Czech club team, pouring in 18 points on 9-of-14 shooting while narrowly missing out on a double-double with 9 rebounds. She is averaging 11.8 points and 6.1 rebounds per game in EuroLeague action, as her team prepares for a quarterfinal matchup next week against Amanda Zahui B and Nadezhda Orenburg.
Slovakia-Extraliga (9-1, Ranked 1st)
Eurocup Round of 8 (Defeated Cegledi EKK in 1st leg 79-64)
EEWBL (7-1, Ranked 2nd)
|#5 R. ALLEN (Slovakia)||18||20.8||71||133||.534||24||44||.545||32||38||.842||4.1||1.2||1.9||1.2||13.7|
|#5 R. ALLEN (EuroCup)||10||25.4||22||51||.431||18||38||.474||27||35||.771||5.3||1.3||1.6||1.6||12.5|
|#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|
Rebecca Allen and Good Angels cruised to a pair of victories in the Slovakian League last week, improving to 9-1 in the 2nd stage of the season, opening up a two-game lead over Piestanske in the standings. In the 80-65 win over that 2nd place squad, Allen scored 21 points, nailing a pair of 3-pointers. Good Angels also defeated MBK Ruzomb 74-62, with Allen contributing 8 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists, in 25 minutes of action. She is averaging 13.7 points per game, ranked 5th in the league, and 1.2 blocks per game, good for 2nd. This upcoming week, Allen and Good Angels will play their final two games of the 2nd stage of the Extraliga season, while awaiting their EuroCup quarterfinals matchup with Galatasaray to commence on March 7.
Czech Republic-ZBL (20-0, Ranked 1st)
EuroLeague Group A (9-5, Ranked 3rd)
|#1 K. VAUGHN (Czech Republic)||12||16.4||56||83||.675||0||3||.000||18||26||.692||4.8||0.7||0.8||0.2||10.8|
|#1 K. VAUGHN (EuroLeague)||14||29.2||75||142||.528||0||4||.000||15||19||.789||6.1||1.4||1.1||0.1||11.8|
Kia Vaughn and USK Praha wrapped up their EuroLeague group slate with a close 71-63 setback against Famila Schio. Vaughn starred for her Czech club team, shooting 9-of-14 from the field to finish with 18 points, while coming close to posting a double-double with 9 rebounds. She finished the group stage averaging 11.8 points and 6.1 rebounds per game, shooting .528 from the field. USK Praha will face BLK Praha this weekend before opening EuroLeague postseason action against her new Liberty teammate Amanda Zahui B and Nadezhda Orenburg in the tournament quarterfinals.
Russia-PBL (18-1, Ranked 1st)
EuroLeague Group A (14-0, Ranked 1st)
|#10 E. PRINCE (Russia)||18||23.3||46||95||.484||8||34||.235||22||30||.733||2.2||3.4||1.3||0.1||7.7|
|#10 E. PRINCE (EuroLeague)||14||27.4||48||88||.545||5||23||.217||13||18||.722||1.9||3.1||1.5||0.1||8.9|
Epiphanny Prince and Dynamo Kursk scored one of the biggest wins of the season as they knocked off previously unbeaten UMMC in the Russian Premier League on Sunday, 99-86. With that win, Kursk improved to 18-1 and moved into a tie for 1st place in the league table. Prince finished the game with 12 points, 4 assists, and 2 steals, in 36 minutes of action. Dynamo Kursk also finished the EuroLeague group stage with an unblemished 14-0 record, easily defeating UNI Gyor 84-49, with Prince contributing 7 points and 2 assists in the win. Prince and Dynamo Kursk will wrap up the Russian League regular season against MBA on March 3, and tip off against Bourges in the EuroLeague quarterfinals on March 7.
Russia-PBL (16-3, Ranked 3rd)
Euroleague Group B (10-4, Ranked 2nd)
|#17 A. ZAHUI B (Russia)||18||19.5||85||134||.634||10||24||.417||42||50||.840||5.1||0.8||1.3||0.6||13.4|
|#17 A. ZAHUI B (EuroLeague)||14||28.6||65||137||.474||11||50||.220||37||49||.755||9.4||1.3||1.0||1.0||14.3|
Two more wins for Amanda Zahui B and Nadezhda Orenburg last week. To finish EuroLeague group play on a high note, Orenburg beat Avenida 65-62, with Zahui B contributing 7 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 blocked shots. She went on to post a double-double of 12 points and 11 rebounds in just 15 minutes of action in a 78-47 win over Sparta&K MR in the Russian League. Zahui B is averaging 13.4 ppg in the Russian League and nearly a double-double in EuroLeague play with 14.3 points and 9.4 rebounds per game, ranking 5th in the league in rebounding. Orenburg will face UMMC in its final regular season game in Russia on March 3, and tips off against Kia Vaughn and USK Praha in the EuroLeague quarterfinals on March 7.
Turkey-KBSL (14-4, Ranked 3rd)
EuroCup Quarterfinals (Will face Lattes Mont.)
|#30 T. WRIGHT (Turkey)||16||33.5||69||156||.442||8||20||.400||50||58||.862||4.8||4.8||0.8||0.0||13.3|
|#30 T. WRIGHT (EuroCup)||10||26.5||49||78||.628||0||4||.000||24||28||.857||2.4||4.5||2.1||0.0||12.2|
Tanisha Wright did not play in Abdullah Gul’s 75-61 win over Hatay over the weekend. The victory meant Kayseri improved to 14-4 overall Turkey, moving up to 3rd place in the league table. Abdullah Gul will resume competition next week for its EuroCup Quarterfinal series against Lattes Montp., which tips off on March 7.
Turkey-KBSL (10-9, Ranked 5th)
|#2 S. ZELLOUS (Turkey)||19||36.5||96||240||.400||20||79||.253||63||75||.840||5.8||3.3||0.7||0.1||16.6|
Besiktas bounced back from a close loss to Hatay by defeating Osmaniye (Riquna Williams) 75-67 last weekend. Shavonte Zellous scored in double-figures once again, and recorded yet another double-double, finishing with 13 points and 11 rebounds, also dishing out 4 assists in 38 minutes to fill out her impressive stat line. Besiktas is now 10-9, still in a four-way tie for 5th, with Zellous averaging 16.6 points, 5.8 rebounds, and 3.3 assists per game. Besiktas returns to action against Mersin MBK on March 11.
Turkey-KBSL (10-9, Ranked 5th)
|#41 K. STOKES (Turkey)||15||34.9||78||135||.578||1||1||1.000||34||43||.791||15.1||1.0||1.3||1.5||12.9|
A Kiah Stokes double-double helped Besiktas pick up a 75-67 win over Osmaniye (Riquna Williams) over the weekend, improving to 10-9 overall to maintain a tie for 5th place in the league standings. Stokes had 13 points and 10 rebounds in the win, shooting 5-of-7 from the field in 26 minutes of action. She is averaging 12.9 points and 15.1 rebounds per game, leading the Turkish League in rebounding, while sitting in a three-way tie for 1st averaging 1.5 blocks per game. Besiktas resumes league play against Mersin MBK on March 11.