While most teams are on break for the holidays, several Liberty stars continued to compete right through the weekend and in league action last week. EuroLeague and EuroCup squads both took the court last week and the Turkish League does not take any significant time off around the new year.
For Liberty players, three of the four competing in Turkey came away with victories last week, including Kiah Stokes, Bria Hartley, and Kia Vaughn, while Amanda Zahui B and Epiphanny Prince both grabbed EuroLeague wins before getting a brief respite until 2018.
For Hartley, her team advanced to the EuroCup Round of 16, after sweeping MBA Moscow in the opening round of the playoffs. Prince and Dynamo Kursk remained unbeaten this season, improving to 9-0 in EuroLeague, and Zahui B and Vaughn also picked up EuroLeague wins for their respective teams.
In the coming week, just the four Turkish League teams will see action before everyone hits the hardwood again during the 1st week of 2018.
LIBERTY INTERNATIONAL PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Kiah Stokes – Botas
Without question the most dominant performance of the week came from Kiah Stokes who scored 20 points with 19 rebounds and three blocked shots in just 22 minutes of action as her Turkish club team Botas blew out Bornova 98-51, rising to 4th in the league standings in the process. Stokes is averaging 15.3 points, 15.3 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks per game, leading Turkey in rebounding and blocked shots per game.
Czech Republic-ZBL (13-0, Ranked 1st)
EuroLeague Group A (5-4, Ranked 3rd)
|#17 A. ZAHUI B (Czech Republic)||13||24.5||90||145||.621||10||18||.556||57||68||.838||7.2||1.5||2.4||1.0||20.5|
|#17 A. ZAHUI B (EuroLeague)||9||31.7||55||102||.539||8||23||.348||30||41||.732||9.6||1.3||0.6||1.4||18.2|
Behind 19 points and 13 rebounds from Amanda Zahui B, USK Praha picked up an 83-80 win over Galatasaray in EuroLeague Action to improve to 5-4 in Group A, currently 3rd in the standings with 5 group games remaining. Zahui B is averaging 18.2 ppg and 9.6 rpg in EuroLeague action. USK Praha returns to action on Jan. 3 when it faces CCC Polkowice in the EuroLeague before resuming Czech League action on Jan. 6.
Russia-PBL (9-0, Ranked 1st)
EuroLeague Group A (9-0, Ranked 1st)
|#10 E. PRINCE (Russia)||9||20.0||20||39||.513||12||24||.500||9||9||1.000||2.8||2.8||1.0||0.1||9.4|
|#10 E. PRINCE (EuroLeague)||9||22.8||16||33||.485||13||34||.382||6||7||.857||2.2||3.2||0.9||0.0||8.6|
It should come as no surprise that Dynamo Kursk closed out 2017 with yet another win, improving to 9-0 in EuroLeague Group A with a narrow road win over Villeneuve 63-57. Epiphanny Prince scored in double figures finishing with 11 points behind a pair of 3-pointers, also dishing out 5 assists. Dynamo Kursk currently sits at 9-0 in EuroLeague group action and the Russian Premier League. Prince and Kursk will return to action on Jan. 4 when they face Sopron Basket.
Turkey-KBSL (5-6, Ranked T-8th)
EuroCup Group B (4-2, 2nd)
|#14 B. HARTLEY (Turkey)||11||31.5||55||124||.444||23||68||.338||40||49||.816||3.1||3.7||2.0||0.5||19.9|
|#14 B. HARTLEY (EuroCup)||8||29.8||32||72||.444||15||37||.405||33||41||.805||3.5||4.1||1.8||0.3||17.8|
Bria Hartley and Mersin advanced to the EuroCup Round of 16 by closing out MBA Moscow 85-76 in the 2nd leg of its home-and-home playoff series last week in Mersin. Hartly had 17 points and a pair of triples in the clinching win, setting up a showdown with Sleza Wroclaw of the Polish League in the next round of the EuroCup playoffs, which tips off on Jan. 4. Wroclaw went 6-0 in Group E to earn a bye into the next round. In Turkish League action, Hartley posted 22 points with two more 3-pointers to help guide Mersin to a 73-66 win over Cukorova, improving to 5-6 overall and moving up into a tie for 8th place. Mersin resumes Turkish League action against Canik Beledi. on Dec. 30.
Turkey-KBSL (10-1, Ranked T-1st)
EuroLeague Group B (7-2, Ranked T-2nd)
|#8 K. VAUGHN (Turkey)||11||26.5||46||81||.568||0||0||.000||13||19||.684||6.5||1.2||1.5||0.3||9.5|
|#8 K. VAUGHN (EuroLeague)||9||30.1||31||72||.431||0||1||.000||17||23||.739||6.3||1.0||0.9||0.3||8.8|
Fenerbahce earned a pair of victories last week, edging Familia Schio 83-77 in EuroLeague action, before beating Abdullah Gul 78-60 in Turkey. Fenerbahce maintained pace for the top spot in the Turkish League, where they are now 10-1, and remain tied for 2nd in EuroLeague Group B. Vaughn scored 8 points with 6 rebounds in the EuroLeague victory over Familia Schio, and had 4 points with 6 boards in the double-digit win over Abdullah. Vaughn and Fenerbahce close out 2017 against Galatasaray on Dec. 30.
Turkey-KBSL (7-4, T-4th)
|#41 K. STOKES (Turkey)||11||33.7||70||122||.574||0||1||.000||28||37||.757||15.3||0.8||0.9||2.8||15.3|
Kiah Stokes and Botas made short work of last place Bornova in the Turkish League, picking up a 98-51 victory behind a monster performance from Stokes. She finished one rebound shy of post a 20-20 game, scoring 20 points on 9-of-15 shooting to go along with 19 rebounds and 3 blocked shots. She is averaging 15.3 points and rebounds per game, along with 2.8 blocks per contest, leading the competitive Turkish league in both rebounding and blocked shots. Botas, tied for 4th in the league standings, closes out the year against Istanbul Uni. on Dec. 30.
Turkey-KBSL (6-5, T-6th)
EuroCup Group A (1-5, T-3rd)
|#1 S. ZELLOUS (Turkey)||6||25.2||24||46||.522||9||17||.529||26||27||.963||6.0||4.3||0.5||0.5||16.8|
|#1 S. ZELLOUS (EuroCup)||2||35.0||4||13||.308||2||4||.500||6||10||.600||4.5||1.0||0.5||0.5||10.0|
Shavonte Zellous and Besiktas suffered a rare Turkish League loss, falling to 1st place Yakin Dogu 82-68 last week. Besiktas is now 6-5 in league play and tied for 6th place in the standings. Shavonte Zellous scored 12 points with a pair of triples against Yakin Dogu, also hauling in 3 boards with a pair of assists. Besiktas will face another tough test to close out 2017 as it battles another team at the top of the league table, Hatay, on Dec. 30.